OverviewNon-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHLs) are a heterogeneous group of lymphoproliferative disorders originating in B-, T-, or natural killer (NK) lymphocytes. In the United States, B-cell lymphomas represent 80% to 85% of all cases, with 15% to 20% being T-cell lymphomas; NK lymphomas are very rare. In 2009, an estimated 65,980 new cases of NHL will be diagnosed and 19,500 will die of the disease.1 NHL is the sixth leading site of new cancer cases among men and fifth among women, accounting for 4% to 5% of new cancer cases and 3% to 4% of cancer-related deaths.1The incidence of NHL increased dramatically between 1970 and 1995; the increase has moderated since the mid-1990s. This increase has been attributed partly to the HIV epidemic and the development of AIDS-related NHL. However, much of the increased incidence has been observed in patients in their sixth and seventh decades, and has largely paralleled a major decrease in mortality from other causes. Because the median age of individuals with NHL has risen in the past 2 decades,2 patients with NHL may also have significant comorbid conditions, which can complicate treatment options.NOTE: This manuscript highlights only a portion of the NCCN Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Guidelines. Please refer to www.NCCN.org for the complete guidelines.ClassificationIn the 1956, Rappaport et al.3 proposed a lymphoma classification based on the pattern of cell growth (nodular or diffuse), and size and shape of the tumor cells.4 This classification, although widely used in the United States, quickly became outdated with...
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