Lymphoma of the Heart

John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth Blank, MD
Ultima Vez Modificado: 1 de noviembre del 2001

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Question
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I need some information (opinion and biomedical literature) about:

  1. The metastatic involvement of cardiac structures in Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas
  2. The cardiac complications with treatment (chemotherapy and its possible impact to the heart by a direct toxic effect on the heart muscle).
I have a patient with a specific problem (Hodgkin's disease)! He had a "mass" in right ventricle, accidentally discovered. After IV chemotherapy, it disappeared after a few months?! I want to know whether the complication is due to the chemotherapy, or to the underlying disease ! If possible...

I need some opinions and medical literature abouth this subject.  
H.S.


Answer
Ken Blank, MD, and John Han-Chih Chang, MD, OncoLink Editorial Assistants, reply:

Dear HS:
The treatment of lypmphomatous involvement of the heart is a challenging clinical situation. The medical and radiation oncologist need to work closely to formulate a plan of care that considers the goals of treatment (cure) and the potential toxicity of treatment to the heart.

In general, the principles of treatment remain the same as for lymphoma elsewhere in the body. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and occasionally surgery are utilized in treatment. However, special care must be taken in patients with lymphoma of the heart to prevent permanent damage to the heart. Chemotherapy drugs used in lymphoma treatment, especially adriamycin, are known to be cardiotoxic (i.e., can damage the heart), and radiation of the heart can lead to myocarditis, pericarditis and valvular abnormalities.

The particluar circumstances of each case of must be examined individually.


News
Studies outline new options for the standard treatment of various lymphoma types

Dec 7, 2010 - Rituximab may be a better option than watchful waiting in some lymphoma patients, and a new treatment option appears effective for relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to two studies being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 4 to 7 in Orlando, Fla. Other research being presented will highlight new options for the standard treatment of advanced asymptomatic follicular lymphoma; mantle cell lymphoma; and early, unfavorable Hodgkin's disease.



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