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Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treatment

Our Treatment Approach

MD Anderson is committed to helping people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma live longer, healthier lives – and we’re making great strides toward advanced therapies with less impact on your body.

For instance, we were instrumental in the pivotal clinical trial for Rituxan® (rituximab), one of the biggest developments in lymphoma treatment over the past decade. And we helped discover a way to vaccinate follicular lymphoma patients with proteins from their tumors, causing their immune systems to attack the cancer cells.

We have found the most-successful way to treat indolent (slow-growing) Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma often is with highly focused chemotherapy that has less impact on your body. Instead of using intense chemotherapy in an attempt to cure non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma totally, the most successful approach often is to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma so it goes into remission for extended periods.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatments

If you are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, your doctor will discuss the best options to treat it. This depends on several factors, including:

  • Type of lymphoma
  • Stage and category of disease
  • Symptoms
  • Your age and general health

Your treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer will be customized to your particular needs. One or more of the following therapies may be recommended to treat the cancer or help relieve symptoms.

If you have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Customized non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatments include vaccine and cytokine therapies, monoclonal antibodies, liposomal drug delivery and proton therapy
  • Advanced therapies that deliver maximum effects with the least impact on your body
  • Specialized team approach to long-term care
  • One of nation’s most active lymphoma programs
  • Renowned research program with numerous lymphoma clinical trials

Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are treated in our:

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This is the treatment most often used for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And since chemotherapy may lower certain types of blood cells, a transfusion of a type of drug called blood cell growth factors may be needed. Liposomal drug delivery is an advanced way of giving chemotherapy that may help it be more effective.
Radiation therapy may be used in early-stage lymphoma or to help symptoms such as pain. It is seldom the only treatment given.

Proton Therapy

The Proton Therapy Center at MD Anderson is one of the largest and most advanced centers in the world. It’s the only proton therapy facility in the country located within a comprehensive cancer center. This means this cutting-edge therapy is backed by all the expertise and compassionate care for which MD Anderson is famous.

Proton therapy delivers high radiation doses directly to the tumor site, with no damage to nearby healthy tissue. For some patients, this therapy results in better cancer control with fewer side effects.


Immunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may include:

  • Monoclonal antibodies, including Rituxan®
  • Biological therapies that develop antibodies to help the body fight the cancer
  • Proteasome inhibitors, such as Velcade®
  • Immune modulators, such as thalidomide and lenalidomide, that modify the environment of the tumor cell and allow it to die
  • Targeted therapies that attack cancer cells by using small molecules to block pathways cells used to survive and multiply
  • Small molecule treatments such as panobinostat
  • Cytokine therapies
  • Interferon is made by the body to help fight infection. Sometimes interferon that has been made in the laboratory is given to patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Stem cell transplantation: If  non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma does not respond to chemotherapy or if it returns, your doctor may recommend a stem cell transplant. Also, since chemotherapy often destroys healthy cells in the blood and bone marrow, patients who have certain types of chemotherapy may need stem cell transplants.

Radioimmunotherapy pairs a monoclonal antibody to a radioactive substance to target cancer cells.

Watchful waiting: This approach involves closely monitoring non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma without active treatment.

Our Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Clinical Trials

Since MD Anderson is one of the nation’s leading research centers, we’re able to offer clinical trials (research studies) of new treatments for every type and stage of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including recurrent and relapsed disease.

To find out more about clinical trials at MD Anderson for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, visit our Clinical Trials database or speak to your doctor.

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