Current status and future perspectives in the treatment of low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas

Blood Rev. 1994 Dec;8(4):225-33. doi: 10.1016/0268-960x(94)90110-4.


Low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) comprise a heterogeneous group of disorders both in terms of their cellular and histological composition as well as in terms of their clinical course. The most usually applied classification systems, the Working Formulation and the Kiel classification as well as the recently proposed Revised European American Lymphoma classification, discriminate between low-, intermediate- and high-grade subtypes. In general, low-grade NHL are characterized by a low to moderate proliferative activity and a long clinical course with median survival times ranging from approximately 3 years for centrocytic (CC) or mantle-cell lymphomas (MCL) to 5-8 years for centroblastic-centrocytic (CB-CC) or follicular lymphomas (FL). Recent cytogenetic and molecular biologic analyses indicate that these differences may result from distinct genetic abnormalities such as the translocation t(14;18), which is frequently observed in FL-NHL and is associated with a bcl-2 overexpression and inhibition of apoptosis, or the deregulation of PRAD1 in MCL-NHL induced by the translocation t(11;14). Therapy of low-grade lymphomas depends mainly on the extent of the disease. In the early stages I and II, at which approximately 15 to 20% of low-grade NHL are diagnosed, radiotherapy may be applied with curative intention. The treatment of patients with more advanced stages III and IV is controversial. The currently available information justifies a conservative approach of observing the natural course of the disease until therapeutic intervention is required due to the occurrence of B-symptoms, hematopoietic insufficiency or lymphoma progression.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Immunotoxins / therapeutic use
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Lymphatic Irradiation
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / classification
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / mortality
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / radiotherapy
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Remission Induction
  • Whole-Body Irradiation


  • Immunologic Factors
  • Immunotoxins
  • Interferon-alpha