Bone marrow lymphoblasts
Lymphoblastic Lymphoma is an aggressive cancer that can affect either type of lymphocyte. It is most commonly found in T-cells (almost 90% of cases), but some types arise from immature B-cells.
Though this cancer is rare and accounts for only 2% of Non-Hodgkin’s diagnoses per year, it is very common in children. In fact, up to 30% of all childhood lymphomas diagnosed per year will be lymphoblastic lymphoma.
In most cases, lymphoblastic lymphoma progresses to Stage IV prior to diagnosis. Tumors in this stage have spread to the bone marrow, spleen, and central nervous system. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, weight loss, and night sweats.
Diagnosis and Staging of Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
To accurately diagnose and stage this disease, doctors may use blood work and bone marrow or lymph node biopsies. By examining the biopsied tissue under a microscope, doctors can identify the mutations that cause lymphoblastic lymphoma and make an accurate diagnosis. To determine the spread and stage of the disease, doctors may also use chest X-rays, CT scans, PET scans, or ultrasounds. Staging is as follows:
- Stage I
- Involvement of one group of lymph nodes on one side of the diaphragm.
- Stage II
- Involvement of two groups of lymph nodes on the same side of the diaphragm.
- Stage III
- Lymph involvement on both sides of the diaphragm. This stage may also be marked by involvement of the lungs or a mass in the chest.
- Stage IV
- Marked by spread into the central nervous system and/or bone marrow.
The most common treatment is chemotherapy. The CHOP regimen has been used with great success, as has a newer regimen called hyper-CVAD (cytoxan, vincristine, adriamycin, and dexamethasone).
In some cases, radiation therapy will be used with chemotherapy, though it is never used as a sole treatment.
Radioimmunotherapy is also being researched as a treatment.
Cancer Patients have more options through clinical studies. Follow this link to learn more about clinical study opportunities near you.