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Because we are consulted on such a large number of lymphomas, our experts are highly skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of these cancers, which can lead to better outcomes for patients. With this degree of sub-specialization, there is a great likelihood that every lymphoma type, even the most rare, has been evaluated and treated by someone in our center. Among our program’s most distinguishing features are:
A correct diagnosis is key to planning the proper course of treatment. The diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma may be complicated as it can appear similar to certain non-Hodgkin lymphomas as well as reactive or inflammatory conditions. The more than 60 sub-types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma also present a challenge for many pathology departments without lymphoma expertise. Our pathologists are world-renowned for their expertise in diagnosing lymphoid diseases. They have been among the leaders in designing the classification system of lymphomas for the World Health Organization, which is used world-wide.
All biopsies are evaluated by our Hematopathology group of international leaders in the field who specialize in the pathologic diagnosis of blood cancers. Our hematopathologists provides diagnostic services for patients at MGH as well as consultation services for US and international pathologists. The group has focused on the careful morphologic, immunophenotypic, and genetic characterization of lymphoid and myeloid neoplasms, in order to develop criteria for diagnosis and to better define clinically relevant hematologic diseases. The group works closely with Cancer Center oncologists and hematologists to provide optimal patient care.
Chemotherapy is the primary therapy for most patients with both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
We offer standard treatments for this lymphoma with well-established high rates of cure. Some patients may also be treated with radiation therapy in certain circumstances, as well as cutting edge clinical trials with the goals of increasing cure rates and decreasing side effects from therapy.
Each cancer is distinct, and our program has subspecialists with expertise in treating all types of lymphoma, from the most common to the very rare. Our medical oncologists will help you understand the complexity of lymphoma and select the optimal treatment program for you and your lymphoma subtype. Clinical trials adding new therapies targeted at your lymphoma subtype may be available. Therapies may include:
External beam, or conformal, radiation therapy is included in the care for certain patients with Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Our program offers state-of-the-art radiation therapy in concert with skilled experts in radiation oncology. Some patients may be candidates for proton beam radiation therapy, a technique for targeting radiation to the cancer and minimizing toxicity to surrounding tissues. Our program is on the leading-edge of determining the effectiveness of this precisely targeted form of radiation for the treatment of lymphoma.
Diagnosis and care of lymphomas occurring primarily in the skin requires multidisciplinary care from a team of lymphoma specialists from medical oncology, dermatology, and radiation oncology. Our team works with patients to insure accurate diagnosis and to select treatment that is most appropriate for each patient's unique cutaneous lymphoma. We also provide access to novel therapies in cutaneous lymphoma through clinical trials.
The Jon and JoAnn Hagler Center for Lymphoma is a world-class treatment and research center for the care of lymphoid cancers. We are leading studies on improving therapies through clinical trials, identifying novel targets for therapy in preclinical models, and are pioneering the use of proton beam radiation therapy for lymphoma. We are also leading valuable research to reduce the short and long-term side effects of therapy, including heart disease and second malignancies. Our goal is to develop better therapies for lymphoma that improve our patients’ outcomes and their lives. Learn more about research at the Cancer Center.
Every patient in the Jon and JoAnn Hagler Center for Lymphoma has a multidisciplinary care team of specialists who coordinate and oversee his or her care. In addition, each team includes nurses who specialize in the treatment of lymphoma, as well as social workers, nutritionists and other professionals.
Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas are treated almost exclusively with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as immunotherapy. Surgery is rarely used in the treatment for these cancers once the diagnosis is made by biopsy. Some patients may require stem cell transplantation, which would be managed by the Mass General Bone Marrow Transplant Program.
A patient’s care team typically includes:
The Center for Lymphoma provides comprehensive care for Hodgkin lymphoma (previously called Hodgkin’s disease) and the more than 60 types—from the most common to the very rare--of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), including:
Cutaneous lymphomas in our Comprehensive Cutaneous Lymphoma Program
In many cases, patients can be seen within 24 hours of contacting the program. Each patient receives a complete evaluation, prompt diagnosis from expert sub-specialists and a multidisciplinary care team that coordinates every aspect of care.
The Center for Lymphoma is committed to developing and testing novel therapies that are targeted directly to a patient’s lymphoma. Given the many different subtypes of non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma, we offer a large selection of clinical trials evaluating new treatments, or improving on standard treatments, with the goal of enhancing cure rates and minimizing chemotherapy toxicity across lymphoma subtypes. Clinical trials may be available as initial therapy or as therapies for relapsed disease. Your physician will discuss all available options as part of your treatment planning.
Find clinical trials for lymphoma.
Find Targeted Therapy Trials for lymphoma.
CAR T-cell Therapy for Lymphoma: Yescarta
The Mass General Cancer Center is an authorized treatment center for Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel), FDA approved CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma. Learn more here.
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