Symptoms of lymphoma
Lymphomas can have many different symptoms depending on where in the body they are located. Some common signs include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
Types of lymphoma
Though many types of lymphoma exist, the two main types are:
The difference between these types is the lymphocytes (types of white blood cells) involved. If your doctor detects the presence of large, abnormal cells called Reed-Sternberg cells, the diagnosis is Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The absence of these cells points to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Our hematologic-oncologists also treat Castleman’s disease, also known as giant lymph node hyperplasia and angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia. This rare condition causes abnormal growth of lymph node cells. It’s not technically a form of cancer, but it acts like lymphoma, and people with the disease often go on to develop lymphomas.
How we treat lymphoma
Each type of lymphoma has different treatment options. The best treatment for you will depend on the type of lymphoma you have, the severity, your medical history, and your preferences.
Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:
We participate in a number of clinical trials to test for new lymphoma treatments. Talk with your doctor about whether you may qualify for a clinical trial.
Lymphoma therapies we helped develop
Our research has led to new therapies for the treatment of lymphoma, including:
- Monoclonal antibodies: Clinical trials we conducted were instrumental in the FDA’s approval of the first monoclonal antibody for relapsing, low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-manufactured molecules that attach to specific defects in cancer cells. When they are used alone, they achieve remission in 50 percent of patients without any of the side effects associated with chemotherapy. We’re continuing our research in advanced monoclonal antibodies.
- Combination chemotherapy and growth factors: For lymphoma patients who are not candidates for monoclonal antibodies, other clinical trial therapies are available, such as combination chemotherapy and new growth factors -- substances that help regulate cell growth and division.
- Bone marrow transplantation: Bone marrow transplantation is a treatment option for patients who experience relapse of Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or patients considered at high risk for relapse. We are one of only three centers in Michigan to offer both autologous bone marrow transplantation (patient receives their own stem cells) and allogenic bone marrow transplantation (patient receives stems cells from a donor).