A - normal cell division
B-cancer cell division
Nodal Marginal Zone Lymphoma (NMZL) is an indolent B-cell lymphoma that is found mostly in the lymph nodes. The disease is rare and only accounts for 1% of all Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas (NHL). It is most commonly diagnosed in older patients, with women more susceptible than men.
The disease is classified as a marginal zone lymphoma because the mutation occurs in the marginal zone of the B-cells. Due to its confinement in the lymph nodes, this disease is also classified as nodal.
Diagnosis and Staging
- Painless swelling of the lymph nodes
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
Diagnosis is made using a lymph node biopsy. Other tests, such as X-rays, CT scan, PET scan, ultrasound, and bone marrow biopsy are used to stage the disease. Staging is as follows:
- Stage I
- Only one group of lymph nodes is involved,
- Stage II
- Two groups of lymph nodes are involved, but they are on the same side of the diaphragm.
- Stage III
- Lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm are involved. The spleen is considered a lymph node in this staging system, so its involvement marks stage III.
- Stage IV
- The bone marrow, liver, or other organs are involved.
Most patients are diagnosed in the earlier stages of disease.
As this is a very slow growing disease, the "Watch and Wait" method may be employed for patients who don’t have many symptoms. Other treatment include:
- NMZL is very reactive to chemotherapy. Administration of the drugs chlorambucil and/or fludarabine usually results in remission of the disease.
- Radiotherapy is given alone in the early stages of disease, or in combination with chemotherapy for late stages of the disease.
- Radiolabeled Isotopes
- Radioimmunotherapy treatments such as the Zevalin regimen are being researched as a treatment for marginal zone lymphomas and shows promising results.
- Clinical Trials
- Patients who are looking for more advanced treatment or who have lymphoma that does not respond to standard treatment may want to consider a clinical study. Click here to find clinical trials in your area.