Lymphoma Treatments

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Being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin or Hodgkin lymphoma can be overwhelming. For expert, compassionate lymphoma treatments in Virginia, you can count on UVA Health. We have decades of experience in treating lymphoma and other cancers that grow in blood cells. 

We use our experience and the latest discoveries to provide breakthrough treatments, personalized for you.

Why UVA Health for Lymphoma Treatment?

UVA Health is a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center. This means we lead the way in cancer research, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. And, U.S. News & World Report rated our lymphoma services as "high performing" for 2023-24.

You can benefit from the key elements of our program:

  • We maintain extremely high standards set by national blood cancer organizations to demonstrate patient care is our top priority.
  • Our doctors and researchers work hand in hand to offer clinical trials and access to the latest treatments, like CAR T-cell therapy.
  • Our Peer Support Program offers mental and emotional support during treatment and beyond.
  • We strive to deliver an excellent care experience, including clearly communicating with you and your loved ones.

What Lymphoma Treatments Do

Lymphoma treatments can do several different things. They can:

  • Kill cancer cells
  • Stop cancer growth
  • Treat symptoms

Treatment plans often combine medicines and surgeries. Your exact treatment plan will depend on:

  • The type of lymphoma you have
  • How aggressive the disease is
  • Symptoms
  • Your age and overall health

We treat both Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's types of lymphoma.

New Therapy for B-cell Lymphoma

After undergoing chemo and other treatments for lymphoma, Bob Falter tried CAR T-cell therapy. The result was a new lease on life. View transcript.

Treating Hodgkin's Lymphoma with Radiation

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells. When treating Hodgkin's lymphoma, it usually comes after chemotherapy. Radiation therapy can:

  • Shrink a large tumor (usually found in the chest)
  • Treat specific tumors
  • Relieve symptoms

A radiation oncologist will customize the treatment dose for individual needs. We aim to kill as much cancer as possible without hurting healthy tissue.

External Beam Radiation

We use external beam radiation for Hodgkin's lymphoma. A machine delivers short bursts of X-rays to the tumor. You get external beam radiation:

  • For a few minutes at a time
  • Usually 5 days a week
  • For 5-8 weeks

We can perform two types of external beam radiation.

Involved Site Radiation Therapy (ISRT)

We aim the radiation at the lymph node where the cancer started and any nearby affected area.

Total Body Irradiation

We eliminate all traces of lymphoma from all over your body in preparation for a stem cell transplant.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treatments

We can cure some forms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We can manage but not cure others.  


Chemotherapy can treat many types of this lymphoma.

Bone Marrow Transplant

We can treat some types of lymphoma with a stem cell transplant. Healthy stem cells from yourself or a donor can give you a healthy immune system and cure your cancer. The stem cells create new blood cells in your body. If successful, the new cells have no cancer.

Blood Transfusion

If you are short of breath, very tired, or are in danger of serious bleeding, you might need a transfusion. This means we bolster your blood with fresh blood cells. You’ll get this blood through an IV.

Plasma Exchange

This procedure cleans out your plasma. Plasma is the liquid part in your blood that doesn’t have cells.

Your condition can put too much protein in your plasma. This thickens the plasma, so your blood doesn’t circulate well. Plasmapheresis separates your blood cells from the plasma. We then clean the plasma and return the blood to your body.

Targeted Therapy

Newer medicines can block specific proteins in cancer cells to stop their growth or kill them. Targeted therapy can also boost your immune system. This medicine can come in pill or IV form.

Targeted therapy medications can make other treatments, like chemo or radiation, more effective. We can also use targeted therapies if other treatments fail.

You might experience side effects like:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Itching
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Breathing problems
  • Reactivation of hepatitis B infection (for those with a dormant infection)

CAR T-Cell Therapy

CAR T-cell therapy (also called CAR-T therapy and CART therapy) uses your own immune system cells to destroy specific cancers in your body.

This personalized therapy happens in two phases:

  • During the first phase, we collect T-cells from your body. Then we modify them to be able to seek out and destroy particular cancer cells.
  • In the second phase, we prepare your body with chemotherapy, and then we return the modified T-cells to your body. The T-cells then multiply and search for the cancer cells.

Surgery for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

We don't often turn to surgery as a treatment. Usually, surgery only works if cancer lives in just one area of your body.