Treatment & Care
Traditional treatments for lymphoblastic lymphoma
Treatments for lymphoblastic lymphoma may involve a combination of therapies including:
Surgery usually plays a limited role in the treatment of lymphoma. In some instances, a child may need to have a tumor removed. This may be the case if, for example, the tumor compresses the airway and/or the heart and major vessels. Surgery in this area may entail considerable risk, and must be carefully orchestrated between the surgeon, oncologist and anesthesiologist.
Our doctors use precisely targeted and dosed radiation to kill cancer cells left behind after your child’s surgery.
Chemotherapy is a drug that interferes with the cancer cell’s ability to grow or reproduce.
- Different groups of chemotherapy drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells and shrink tumors.
- Often, a combination of chemotherapy drugs is used.
- Certain chemotherapy drugs may be given in a specific order depending on the type of cancer it is being used to treat.
While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating certain cancers, the agents do not differentiate normal healthy cells from cancer cells. Because of this, there can be many adverse side effects during treatment. Being able to anticipate these side effects can help the care team, parents, and child prepare, and, in some cases, prevent these symptoms from occurring, if possible.
Chemotherapy is systemic treatment, meaning it is introduced to the bloodstream and travels throughout the body to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given:
- as a pill to swallow
- as an injection into the muscle or fat tissue
- intravenously (IV), directly to the bloodstream
- intrathecally, directly into the spinal column with a needle
This includes any type of treatment to prevent and treat infections, side effects of treatments, and complications, and to keep your child comfortable during treatment.
What is the recommended long-term care for children treated for lymphoblastic lymphoma?
Children treated for lymphoblastic lymphoma should visit a survivorship clinic every year to:
- manage disease complications
- screen for early recurrence of cancer
- manage late effects of treatment
A typical follow-up visit may include some or all of the following:
- a physical exam
- laboratory testing
- imaging scans
Through the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, childhood cancer survivors receive a comprehensive follow-up evaluation from their cancer care team.
- Our childhood cancer survivorship clinic is held weekly.
- In addition to meeting with your pediatric oncologists, your child may see one of our endocrinologists, cardiologists, neurologists, neuro-psychologists or alternative/complementary therapy specialists.
We also offer the following services:
- patient and family education
- psychosocial assessment
- genetic counseling
- reproductive and fertility evaluation and counseling
opportunities to speak with other childhood cancer survivors
Comfort for lymphoma patients and their families
The Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation Programat Children’s Hospital Boston heavily emphasizes safety and cleanliness to help protect patients with lymphoma, and other conditions undergoing bone marrow and stem cell transplantation. For example, families and clinicians have to clean themselves before being entering the unit. Children’s understands that this can make families anxious, and have made improvements to make the hospital more comfortable for families, such as providing beds for parents and families to sleep over so they can provide emotional support for their child. Learn more about the comforting environment at Children’s as your child undergoes treatment for lymphoma.