Duke’s lymphoma specialists use the latest medical advances to detect and treat lymphoma at the earliest possible stage. We undergo advanced training, and are experienced in treating all types of lymphomas. We treat patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cutaneous lymphoma, and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia. After a comprehensive exam and evaluation, we develop a personalized treatment plan that specifically addresses your type of lymphoma. Our goal is to return you to good health and maximize your quality of life.
Leaders in Lymphoma Treatment
Lymphoma refers to a group of blood cancers that develop in the white blood cells that are part of your body's immune system. There are two main types of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. There are also subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: cutaneous lymphoma, which affects the skin, and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, which occurs when the cancer cells make an abnormal amount of protein. Because these lymphomas act and are treated differently, it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis to ensure you receive the best possible care for your type of lymphoma.
As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we offer a level of expertise in treating lymphomas that can only be found in the top four percent of cancer centers across the country with this designation. We treat 1,000 people with blood cancer each year, more than any other facility in North Carolina, and we have a team dedicated to working with people who have lymphoma. Our team plans a comprehensive treatment strategy for you that uses the most effective therapies, including many that were developed right here at Duke.
Choose Duke for your lymphoma treatment because we offer:
- Top-ranked care. We are among the top cancer programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. We are also part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving patient care.
- Pioneering lymphoma treatment options. We offer a wide range of clinical trials that may give you access to new drugs, new forms of chemotherapy, and radiation treatments not offered at most other hospitals. We are one of the few centers trained to administer a new class of treatments called CAR T-cell therapy (brand name: Yescarta). Our researchers are also exploring genetic differences among lymphomas that will lead to improved therapies. Novel techniques such as less intense stem cell transplants, pioneered in part at Duke, are now offering hope to people with lymphoma.
- A team of lymphoma specialists. Our team — medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, dermatologists, palliative care, psychologists, infectious disease doctors, radiologists, specially trained nurses, nutritionists and social workers — meets regularly to discuss your care, collect opinions, and offer coordinated treatment recommendations and follow-up. Diagnosing and treating lymphoma and blood cancers is all we do.
- Comforting environment. Our new Duke Cancer Center features spacious waiting areas, a Quiet Room, large infusion rooms, and a rooftop garden area where patients — based on their treatment regimen — can receive chemotherapy outdoors.
- Personalized care and support for you and your family. Our comprehensive support services are here for you throughout your treatment journey. We help minimize the side effects of treatment and offer support to help you cope with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. You may also benefit our services focusing on nutrition, guided imagery, anxiety control, and meditation. Our cancer survivorship clinic pulls together a range of resources specially designed to help you after your treatment ends. View all of our cancer support groups on our event calendar.
Your treatment plan is determined by the stage and type of your lymphoma. While you may be diagnosed with lymphoma, you may not need treatment right away. Our team of oncologists, nurses, pharmacists and researchers work with you to create a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs.
Recommended if you are not experiencing symptoms. We monitor you regularly and start treatment when symptoms appear or changes in your condition occur.
High-energy beams target the tumor to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. Often given in addition to chemotherapy.
Block the growth of cancer cells or interfere with processes that help cancer cells survive. Monoclonal antibody therapy is a targeted therapy for lymphoma that is administered through an IV, by itself or in combination with chemotherapy. Monoclonal antibodies have significantly improved the outcomes for most people with lymphoma.
Kills or slows the growth of cancer cells. Systemic chemotherapy is administered via oral medication or an injection. Some forms of chemotherapy must be given in the hospital or in a clinic; others can be given at home.
Lymphoma damages the cells in the bone marrow where healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets are made. Blood and bone marrow transplant restores your healthy cell function by killing the lymphoma cells and replacing them with healthy cells. You may be eligible for a blood or bone marrow transplant using your own cells (autologous) or cells from a donor (allogeneic). Transplant is a very intensive and complex treatment. Determining if transplant is right for you is part of the expert care you will receive at Duke.
We are one of the few centers trained to administer a new class of treatments called CAR T-cell therapy (brand name: Yescarta). The gene therapy transforms a person’s own cells into cells that attack and destroy cancer cells. People with advanced non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who have failed chemotherapy may be candidates for this one-time treatment. People who are interested in being evaluated for this therapy must have their physician provide a referral. Once an appointment is made, one of our navigators will work with you to determine if this is an appropriate therapy.
MRI, PET and CT scans are used to diagnose lymphomas and recommend the best treatment plan.
Examines the genetic makeup of your lymphoma. This is different from other forms of “genetic testing,” which look for conditions that may run in your family. Genetic studies in lymphoma help us to better understand the biology behind your condition. This can help us to predict how lymphoma may act over time, and in some cases, to choose the best possible therapies. Some genetic studies are only available at Duke.
Removes a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope. Biopsy is the only definitive diagnosis of cancer. If lymphoma is found in your bone marrow, you will undergo a bone marrow biopsy. The outpatient procedure is usually performed in clinic and often only requires local anesthetic.