On this page you will find information about the various types of aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Just click on the type from the menu on the left. Or click on the links below to find more information on some of the less common types of aggressive NHL.
One of the key differences between the aggressive forms of NHL and the indolent forms of NHL is that the aggressive types are quite often curable with intensive combination chemotherapy. The most common of the aggressive lymphomas is Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma, often called DLBC for short. In general, with modern treatment of patients with NHL, overall survival at 5 years is approximately 50% to 75% most of whom are cured. The vast majority of relapses for aggressive patients occur in the first 2 years after therapy. The risk of late relapse is higher in patients with both indolent than aggressive disease. This is often a result of a transformation from indolent to aggressive. Transformation rarely involves 100% of the malignant cells, so when the transformation occurs the patient has both types of NHL.
See the "Treatment Outcomes" page for the International Prognostic Index which measures the risk of relapse for patients with aggressive lymphoma. The most common type of aggressive lymphoma is Diffuse Large B-cell lymphoma. This accounts for approximately 30% of all lymphomas combined.
Burkitt's lymphoma is very rare in North America. It is most common in children and in Africa, or people of African descent. It is an extremely aggressive type of NHL, but in children it has a very high cure rate with intensive therapy.
In adults the cure rate is not as high. However a 2013 study from the New England Journal of Medicine shows that a much lower intensity approach in adults, including adults who are HIV+ has extremely good results. Read the study below.
Here are a couple of articles about this rare type of lypmhoma.
Burkitt's Lymphoma information from E-medicine
- Burkitt’s Lymphoma: Clinicopathologic Features and Differential Diagnosis
E-medicine page about Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
Note: Lymphoblastic Lymphoma is very similar to ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) and is treated the same. Be sure to research ALL for additional information.
Other types of aggressive lymphoma
- Hepatosplenic gamma/delta T-cell lymphoma
- Subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma
- Enteropathy-type intestinal T-cell lymphoma
- Adult T-cell lymphoma/leukemia (HTLV 1+)
- Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, primary systemic type
- Aggressive NK-cell leukaemia