Explore This Clinic


Lymphomas account for 10-15 percent of cancers in children. They are equally divided into two major groups: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The lymphomas are derived from multiple types of immune cells and may have their origin in the bone marrow or lymphatic system.

Specific lymphomas:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
    • Anaplastic large cell
    • Burkitt
    • Diffuse large B cell
    • Lymphoblastic

When a child is referred with a likely diagnosis of lymphoma we see that patient within 24 hours because a prompt diagnosis and initiation of appropriate therapy can be life-saving.

Learn more about lymphomas at the National Cancer Institute and CureSearch websites.

Multidisciplinary Care

Every child diagnosed with a lymphoma is assigned a multidisciplinary care team of specialists. Each team includes a pediatric oncologist and may include a pediatric radiation oncologist depending on the type of lymphoma. Most of the non-Hodgkin lymphomas are treated almost exclusively with chemotherapy whereas some of the Hodgkin lymphomas are treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery is mostly used for a biopsy to make the diagnosis. Accurate staging is essential and our team works with pediatric radiologists who have expertise in utilizing the most advanced imaging techniques to help stage our patients. The hematopathologists at Massachusetts General Hospital are internationally recognized for their expertise in diagnosing and subclassifying lymphomas in children and adults.

Research and Clinical Trials

Our patients have access to clinical trials of promising new therapies through the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). We are also founding members of a Hodgkin disease consortium that has pioneered novel therapies for children with Hodgkin lymphoma. We work closely with our adult lymphoma colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital to develop state-of-the-art molecular tests for diagnosis and prognostication.