- NHL Treatment
- Hodgkin's Treatment
- Clinical Trials
- Monoclonal Antibodies
This entry looks at pulmonary lymphoma, a lymphoma subtype. 'Lymphoma' is an umbrella term that loosely refers to several dozen independent categorical types and subtypes of cancers of the lymphatic system.
Primary pulmonary lymphoma refers to a B-cell, non-Hodgkin lymphoma that develops as a single tumor mass in one or both lungs and is generally not found to have spread outside the lungs. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as either an abscess or as non-small cell lung cancer.
In most cases, pulmonary lymphoma is classified as a low-grade (indolent) B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that develops in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). However, as many as twenty percent of cases are high-grade pulmonary lymphoma and present as an extremely aggressive disease. This aggressive type is more commonly found in patients who are immunocompromised.
Primary pulmonary lymphoma is a very, very rare disease. It accounts for about one half of one percent of all lung cancers, and about the same percentage of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.
Similar to other lymphomas, the symptoms associated with pulmonary lymphomas are non-specific and can be interpreted to be many different things. They are:
Because this cancer is so rare, the optimal treatment for pulmonary lymphoma remains in dispute. However, it is most commonly treated with R-CHOP combination chemotherapy or CHOP-related chemotherapy. The efficacy of surgical resection of the tumor has not been confirmed as a reliable therapeutic response.
That said, the median survival for patients with high-grade primary pulmonary lymphoma is around 8-10 years, provided the patient isn't immunocompromised by, for example, HIV infection.