What is Lymphoma and What Causes it? (Definition)

Lymphoma is the name for a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. it is a cancer of immune cells called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. These cells are in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and other parts of the body. When you have lymphoma, lymphocytes change and grow out of control.

The two main types are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

Hodgkin lymphoma has characteristics that distinguish it from other diseases classified as lymphoma, including the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. These are large, cancerous cells found in Hodgkin lymphoma tissues. Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most curable forms of cancer. The disease was called Hodgkin’s disease until it was officially renamed Hodgkin lymphoma in the late 20th century.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) represents a diverse group of diseases distinguished by the characteristics of the cancer cells associated with each disease type. NHL may be indolent (slow-growing) or aggressive (fast-growing). The most common types of NHL in adults are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, which is usually aggressive, and follicular lymphoma, which is usually indolent. Some patients with fast-growing NHL can be cured. For patients with slow-growing NHL, treatment may keep the disease in check for many years.

Lymphoma Symptoms and Signs

According to the American Cancer Society, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can cause numerous signs and symptoms, depending on where it is in the body. In some cases it might not cause any symptoms until it grows quite large. Common signs and symptoms include enlarged lymph nodes, feeling full after only a small amount of food, chest pain or pressure, fever, swollen abdomen, shortness of breath or cough, weight loss, night sweats, extreme fatigue and low red blood cell counts (anemia).

The most common symptom of Hodgkin disease is a lump in the neck, under the arm, or in the groin, which is an enlarged lymph node. Although it doesn’t usually hurt, the area may become painful after drinking alcohol. The lump might grow larger over time, or new lumps might appear near it (or even in other parts of the body). Other non-specific symptoms may include night sweats, fever, unexpected weight loss, loss of appetite, itching, increased sensitivity to the effects of alcohol or pain in your lymph nodes after drinking alcohol and feeling tired.

For more information on Lymphoma, including recommended treatments, please visit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website.

See below for updated news and information regarding lymphoma including new medical research, treatment options and advancements. 

Lymphoma News

Leukemia Lymphoma Treatment Research Shows Promise: New drug cocktail unlocks potential of new Leukaemia treatment

(SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER) - A new combination of drugs, tested by University of Manchester scientists, has significantly enhanced the survival of laboratory mice with lymphoma. According to the team, the effect of Obinutuzumab - a first-line treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukaemia - is significantly enhanced when combined with drugs that stimulate the immune system. The research is published in ...
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Lymphoma Treatment News: Immune Cell Therapy Shows Promising Results for Lymphoma Patients, says Moffitt Researchers

(SOURCE: H. LEE MOFFITT CANCER CENTER & RESEARCH INSTITUTE) -  Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer. The disease occurs when immune cells called lymphocytes multiply uncontrollably. Cancerous lymphocytes can travel throughout the body and form lymph node tumors. The body has two types of lymphocytes that can develop into lymphoma – B cells and T cells. B-cell lymphomas account for ...
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Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Reasearch News: NIAID Research Aids Discovery of Genetic Immune Disorder

(SOURCE: NIH/NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES) - Immune Molecule Deficiency Increases Patients’ Risk of Epstein-Barr Virus and EBV-Related Cancer. Investigators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and international colleagues have identified a genetic immune disorder characterized by increased susceptibility and poor immune control of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and, in some cases, an EBV-associated cancer called Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The researchers ...
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Lymphoma Testing News: Mayo Clinic first in U.S. to offer lymphoma genomic diagnostic test for patients

(SOURCE: MAYO CLINIC) - Mayo Clinic has created a genetic test to help guide diagnosis and treatment of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, the most common type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The Lymph2Cx test helps determine where the lymphoma started, assigning “cell-of-origin” groups using a 20-gene expression-based assay. It is the first test to go into the Mayo practice from the ...
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Lymphoma Treatment Research News: Immunotherapy agent yields full and partial remissions in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas, study finds

(SOURCE: DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE) - An immunotherapy drug able to induce lasting remissions in classical Hodgkin lymphoma may be equally effective in patients with either of two rare, aggressive forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, results from a small case series indicate. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators who treated the patients will report their findings at the 58th annual meeting of the American Society of ...
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Lymphoma Research News: Mutations in lymphoma patients undergoing transplants raise risk of second cancers

(SOURCE: DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE) - A significant percentage of lymphoma patients undergoing transplants with their own blood stem cells carry acquired genetic mutations that increase their risks of developing second hematologic cancers and dying from other causes, according to a study from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The mutations were found in about 30 percent of 401 patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) whose blood ...
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Lymphoma Treatment Research News: First Multicenter Trial Finds CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy Effective, Feasible for Hard-to-Treat Lymphoma

(SOURCE: AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HEMATOLOGY) Interim analysis shows nearly six-fold higher rate of complete remission for refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma with KTE-C19 compared to historical data. An abstract presented during the 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego demonstrates that chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a promising option for treating refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma and ...
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Lymphoma Treatment News: Study Shows Monitoring Cancer DNA in Blood Can Predict Recurrence and Prognosis and Lead to Treatment Decisions

(Stanford) According to a recently published article, monitoring cancer DNA in blood can predict recurrence and prognosis and drive treatment decisions. A Stanford study of 92 lymphoma patients suggests similar techniques may work for other tumors ...
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Scientists Discover how Epstein-Barr Virus Can Initiate Blood Cancer

(UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX) According to a recent press release, scientists at the University of Sussex, trying to uncover how the common Epstein-Barr virus causes blood cancer in adults and children, have discovered how the virus takes control of two genes involved in cancer development so it can switch them on or off ...
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Essential Amino Acid Found to Play Key Role in Creation of Blood Stem Cells

(Scientific American) According to an article recently published in Scientific American, a team of researchers from California and Japan has found that an essential amino acid plays a crucial role in the creation of blood stem cells. This type of discovery the scientists say could offer a potential alternative to chemotherapy and radiation in treating blood cancer patients ...
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