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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

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Treatment of limited stage aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma

The following are treatment options for limited stage aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with lymphoma.


Chemotherapy is usually the main treatment for limited stage aggressive NHL. A combination of chemotherapy drugs is usually given, along with biological therapy and often radiation therapy. The combination of chemotherapy drugs used can vary with the type of aggressive NHL being treated.

  • CHOP is the most widely used combination of chemotherapy drugs. CHOP is:
    • cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Procytox)
    • doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
    • vincristine (Oncovin)
    • prednisone (Deltasone)
  • If radiation therapy is also going to be given after chemotherapy, fewer cycles of CHOP may be needed.

Chemotherapy often shrinks an aggressive NHL very quickly.

Biological therapy

Biological therapy is another treatment that is used for some types of aggressive NHL. Rituximab (Rituxan) is the biological therapy used most often and it is only used for B-cell type lymphomas. It is used in combination with chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy may be offered for limited stage aggressive NHL. It is given to areas where the lymphoma is found (involved field radiation therapy). Radiation therapy is usually given after chemotherapy for limited stage aggressive NHL. It is used if the lymphoma is localized in one area of the body.

Clinical trials

People with limited stage aggressive NHL may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.


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