Childhood Lymphoma

Comprehensive Treatment for Children with Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin Lymphoma

Lymphoma treatment in children requires a customized approach that's designed around each child's needs. Duke Children's offers comprehensive care and services to make your child's experience as comfortable as possible. Our team includes pediatric oncologists, bone marrow transplant specialists, and pediatric oncology nurses who work with social workers, psychologists, pediatricians, and others to offer coordinated care and support. Your child receives expert care using the latest treatments, delivered by a compassionate, highly experienced team that's here to support you through treatment and beyond.

Childhood Lymphoma Treatment Expertise

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph nodes. It affects lymphocyte cells from the immune system that usually help the body fight illness. The two categories of lymphoma are:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)

The two types of lymphoma are differentiated by the type of lymphocyte that is affected, and each type is treated differently.

Blood tests, a biopsy of cancer cells, and imaging exams such as CT and PET are used to confirm which type of lymphoma your child has, whether it is related to a genetic change, and where it is located in your child’s body. The comprehensive evaluation allows us to develop a personalized treatment plan for your child, as well as a follow-up plan for long-term cancer screening based on your child’s genetic makeup.

Your Child Benefits from Our Team Approach

Once we’ve confirmed your child’s diagnosis, the pediatric oncologist will build a team based on therapies that will give your child the best results. Your child's team will include a medical oncologist -- a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with chemotherapy and other medications -- and possibly a radiation oncologist or stem cell transplant specialist for some types of Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Our doctors also work closely with pediatric oncology nurses, pediatricians, pediatric psychologists, and other specialists to ensure your child gets complete care.

  • Our lymphoma doctors are also researchers who are dedicated to improving care for childhood cancer. They collaborate with pediatric cancer experts worldwide through the Children's Oncology Group, the world’s largest childhood and adolescent cancer research organization. That means your child benefits from the combined knowledge of leading cancer care experts and has access to the latest lymphoma therapies.
  • We help make your child as comfortable as possible during treatment. Our team focuses on managing your child’s symptoms and other aspects of treatment that affect your child’s quality of life. We help with pain management, supportive nutrition, relaxation techniques, and more to help your child get through treatment. 


Your child’s treatment may include one or more therapies, depending on their needs. Most often, non-Hodgkin lymphoma is treated with chemotherapy alone, while Hodgkin lymphoma may require more than one therapy. We design treatment to offer the most benefit, while minimizing the risk of long-term side effects. Your care team will explain all the treatment options and help prepare you and your child for what to expect.

Family and Support Services

We treat the whole child -- not just the disease. During your child’s care, you have access to a variety of services that are designed to make your child’s experience as positive as possible and provide support to your family.

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