Chemotherapy for childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Chemotherapy drugs used for childhood NHL @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Chemotherapy drugs used to treat childhood NHL include:
- cyclophosphamide (Procytox)
- doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
- vincristine (Oncovin)
- cytarabine (Cytosar)
- dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexasone)
- daunorubicin (Cerubidine, daunomycin)
- asparaginase (Kidrolase)
- etoposide (Vepesid, VP-16)
- mercaptopurine (Purinethol)
- ifosfamide (Ifex)
- leucovorin (folinic acid)
- thioguanine (Lanvis)
Targeted therapy with rituximab (Rituxan) may be given along with chemotherapy.
Intrathecal chemotherapy can include 1 to 3 of the following drugs:
If childhood NHL does not respond to drugs used in earlier treatments or if it comes back, the following drug combinations may be used:
- ifosfamide, carboplatin, etoposide and rituximab
- ifosfamide, carboplatin (Paraplatin, Paraplatin AQ) and etoposide
- dexamethasone, etoposide, cisplatin, cytarabine and asparaginase
Side effects @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Side effects can happen with any type of treatment for childhood NHL, but every child’s experience is different. Some children have many side effects. Other children have only a few side effects.
Chemotherapy may cause side effects because it can damage healthy cells as it kills cancer cells. Side effects can happen any time during, immediately after or a few days or weeks after chemotherapy. Sometimes late side effects develop months or years after chemotherapy. Most side effects go away on their own or can be treated, but some side effects may last a long time or become permanent.
It is hard to say exactly which side effects a child will have, how long they will last and when the child will recover. A child’s body seems to handle chemotherapy better than an adult’s body. Children usually have less severe side effects and will often recover from them faster than adults.
Side effects of chemotherapy will depend mainly on the type of drug, the dose, how it’s given and your child’s overall health. Some common side effects of chemotherapy drugs used for childhood NHL are:
- tumour lysis syndrome
- bone marrow suppression causing low platelet count, low white blood cell count and anemia
- hair loss
- sore mouth or throat
- loss of appetite and taste changes
- nausea and vomiting
- weight gain or loss
- skin problems
- peripheral nerve damage
Chemotherapy for certain types of NHL can be quite intensive. Your child may need to stay in the hospital for a long time to reduce the risk of serious or life-threatening infections because of an impaired immune system.
Other side effects can develop months or years after treatment for childhood NHL. Find out more about late effects for childhood NHL.
Tell your child’s healthcare team if your child has these side effects or others you think might be from chemotherapy. The sooner you tell them of any problems, the sooner they can suggest ways to help your child deal with them.
Allen CE, Kamdar KY, Bollard CM, Gross TG . Malignant non-Hodgkin lymphomas in children. Pizzo PA & Poplack DG (eds.). Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer; 2016: 23: 587-603.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. Lymphoma - Non-Hodgkin - Childhood. 2017.
Gross TG & Perkins SL . Malignant non-Hodgkin lymphomas in children. Pizzo, P. A. & Poplack, D. G. (Eds.). Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011: 23:pp. 663-682.
Hussong, M. R . Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Baggott, C. R., Kelly, K. P., Fochtman, D. et al. Nursing Care of Children and Adolescents with Cancer. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders Company; 2002: 23: pp 536-543.
Johnston JM. Pediatric Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment and Management. 2018.
Johnston JM. Pediatric Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Medication. 2018.
National Cancer Institute. Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment (PDQ®) Patient Version. 2018.
National Cancer Institute. Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2018.
Truong TH, Weitzman, S, Arceci RJ . Non-Hodgkin lymphoma of childhood. Wiernik PH, Goldman JM, Dutcher JP & Kyle RA (eds.). Neoplastic Diseases of the Blood. 5th ed. Springer; 2013: 48: pp. 1049-1072.
Woods D, McDonald, L . Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Baggott C, Fochtman D, Foley GV & Patterson Kelly, K (eds.). Nursing Care of Children and Adolescents with Cancer. 4rd ed. APHON; 2011: 29: pp. 1023-1037.