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Screening and Diagnosis | Personalized Treatment | Research and Clinical Trials | Additional Patient Support

Lymphoma is a blood cancer that attacks the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. There are more than 30 subtypes of lymphoma, but they can be broadly separated into two categories, Hodgkin Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL).

The experienced, collaborative team of specialists at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center combines the most advanced scientific knowledge and technology with a comprehensive and compassionate approach to care, creating a program of personalized medicine and patient-centered care for each individual diagnosed with lymphoma.

Drawing from the diverse experience of physicians, surgeons, nurses, researchers and a host of other highly trained healthcare professionals, the Kellogg Cancer Center team works collaboratively and is dedicated to putting patients—and families—at the center of a healthcare experience that delivers compassionate, quality care.

Patients with both Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are treated within NorthShore’s Hematologic Malignancy Program at Kellogg Cancer Center. Kellogg’s Hematologic Malignancy Program has an Advanced Practice Nurse who enhances our clinical care and patient education, particularly in complicated cases requiring ongoing and high-level support. A dedicated hematology coordinator helps streamline patients’ evaluations, easing wait times and potential patient anxiety.

Our inpatient unit at Evanston Hospital cares for patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell reinfusion for lymphomas and related disease. The Hematopoietic Stem Cell Program has long maintained accreditation by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).

Lymphoma Screening and Diagnosis

NorthShore's expert Pathology Department, including molecular pathology, ensures that a majority of tests and novel diagnostics are completed in house, providing swift results and thus beginning life-saving lymphoma treatment as early as possible. Pathologists are available to discuss individual cases and attend multidisciplinary conferences. NorthShore has a dedicated hematopathologist who plays a critical role in a patient’s successful treatment  by helping to diagnose the lymphoma subtype through lab analysis of blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes. Diagnosis of the specific lymphoma subtype enables physicians to personally tailor a treatment plan to each individual, thus increasing odds for a successful outcome.

Personalized Lymphoma Treatment

For most patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy with radiation therapy is effective. Patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma may be treated with radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of the two, depending on the specific type and stage of the disease. Stem cell transplantation is sometimes a course of lymphoma treatment.

Highly specific monoclonal antibodies (such as Rituximab, Rituxan) directed at lymphoma cells are used for initial treatment, and recurrence of some types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These targeted therapies have been shown to significantly improve response rates without increasing toxicity. 

In addition to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, our team also provides treatment through the use of immunotherapy. This includes a variety of new drugs that target specific mutations in the malignant cells that are interfering with the bloodstream's pathways. Immunotherapy utilizes the body's immune system to decrease the growth of these malignant cells without the need for radiation. 

Among the most promising developments in cancer treatment in recent years is immunotherapy. For decades, researchers have been trying to understand why the body’s immune system does not see cancer cells as foreign and attack them. Unlike chemotherapy, which attacks cancer cells, immunotherapy targets the patient’s immune system, spurring the body’s own immune function to unleash an attack on the disease. NorthShore has been an early adopter of immunotherapy, offering progressive treatment options to our patients and supporting ongoing clinical trials and research to further advance this revolutionary field.

Every week, our multidisciplinary team meets in a multidisciplinary conference to discuss each patient’s case in detail and to design a personalized treatment plan. For lymphoma, your team may include your medical oncologistsurgeon, advanced practice nurse, hematopathologist, nutritionist, pharmacist, social worker and researchers, all focused on you. This "meeting of the minds" provides critical input, resulting in an individualized care plan outlining the best course of action for each patient.

Patients are very much a part of this multidisciplinary team, and Kellogg staff arrange for them to be seen by their multidisciplinary specialists at one appointment, not only for their convenience but to provide a consensus on their course of treatment. Our use of one of the most advanced Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems in the country enhances our open communication and promotes collaboration in our patient care.

Research and Clinical Trials

For patients diagnosed with lymphoma, a vital research enterprise allows Kellogg patients access to the latest drugs and treatment options, as well as a wide array of clinical trials, both at NorthShore and through the University of Chicago, where more than 800 of our attending physicians hold academic appointments. NorthShore's team of hematology experts are active participants and leaders in regional and national research, academic and advocacy organizations.

NorthShore’s nationally recognized Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system offers a data warehouse that enables physicians and researchers to integrate molecular and genomics data with clinical data to determine a patient’s best course of treatment. Our research team is yielding new insights into complex diseases and identifying opportunities to improve patient outcomes,  as well as addressing the risk factors in individual and family medical histories. Harnessing the power of NorthShore's EMR allows physician-scientists to apply sophisticated analysis to patient records, evaluating outcomes from lymphoma cases and using that information to determine the most favorable treatment options for each patient.

NorthShore is the first in the nation to provide our patients and their family members with Health Heritage, a secure tool that helps individuals create a complete family health history and personalized risk reports.

Additional Patient Support

Kellogg Cancer Center’s unique services and resources assist patients and family members with a variety of challenges they may face from diagnosis, treatment and beyond. A wide array of support services are available to patients that include our integrative medicine services, financial advocacy and survivorship, to name a few.

For More Information

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call 847.570.2112.