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Treatment of lymphoma of the small intestine

Treatment for lymphoma of the small intestine depends on the particular subtype and stage of the cancer. The following are treatment options for lymphoma of the small intestine. The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with cancer.


Chemotherapy is often the primary treatment for lymphomas of the small intestine. Chemotherapy may be used:

  • after surgery (adjuvantadjuvantTreatment given in addition to the first-line therapy (the first or standard treatment) to help reduce the risk of a disease (such as cancer) coming back (recurring). chemotherapy)
    • Chemotherapy may be used when there is a high risk of recurrence, if regional lymph nodes are involved or for high-grade tumours.
  • for advanced lymphoma (stage IIIE or IVE)
    • Combination chemotherapy is used in addition to radiation therapy.

The type of chemotherapy depends on the particular subtype of lymphoma, but most often includes the combination called CHOP:

  • cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Procytox)
  • doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
  • vincristine (Oncovin)
  • prednisone (Deltasone)

Biological therapy

Rituximab (Rituxan) is a type of biological therapy that is effective in treating certain types of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). It is often used with chemotherapy for B-cell lymphomas like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and may be used in some situations for extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue (MALT) lymphoma.

Rituximab may be added to the CHOP drugs. This combination is called CHOP-R.


Surgery may be offered for localized (stage IE or IIE) small intestine lymphoma to completely remove the tumour. A surgical resection may be the only treatment required for an indolent (slow-growing), localized tumour.

  • segmental bowel resection
    • This surgery is offered for tumours in the distal (lower) duodenum, the jejunum and ileum that are localized or have limited spread.
  • right hemicolectomy
    • This surgery is used for tumours in the ileum.

Palliative surgery may also be an option for some people with advanced disease and problems like an obstruction.

Radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy may be offered with chemotherapy for lymphoma of the small intestine. Radiation therapy may also be used on its own to relieve symptoms of advanced lymphoma.

Clinical trials

People with small intestine cancer may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.


Dr Camilla Zimmermann Dr Camilla Zimmermann provided a model for early palliative care.

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Establishing a national caregivers strategy

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The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.

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