Treatment depends on how far the disease has progressed. It may include external-beam radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or biological therapy (boosting the body's immune response to the disease). Rituxan, a genetically engineered drug involving monoclonal antibodies, has been approved for use against some low-grade (slow-growing) non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Bone marrow transplantation is also sometimes used. In this technique, bone marrow (blood cell–producing tissue inside bone) is taken from the patient and treated to kill any cancer cells. The patient is then given very high dose chemotherapy designed to destroy the cancer; it also destroys the remaining bone marrow. After chemotherapy, the stored marrow is reinserted into the patient. In children, chemotherapy is the most common treatment.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.