Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NLPHL) is a cancer of the white blood cells. It differs from classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NLPHL) affects white blood cells known as lymphocytes.
Tumor cells in NLPHL differ from those in classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because of the differences in tumor cells, treatment for these two forms of lymphoma varies.
This article looks at NLPHL, including its symptoms, treatment, and outlook.
Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NLPHL) is a subtype of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This type of cancer starts in the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.
Few Reed-Sternberg cells are present in people with NLPHL. Instead, people with NLPHL develop other abnormal cells that doctors call popcorn cells because they resemble popcorn.
Other symptoms, known as B symptoms, may include:
- night sweats
- weight loss
However, these additional symptoms are less common because NLPHL tumor cells are not a source of proinflammatory cytokines. Only about
Doctors rely on medical history, physical exams, lab tests, and positron emission tomography scans (PET) to diagnose NLPHL.
Taking a biopsy of an enlarged lymph node and checking it for cancer cells confirms the diagnosis.
Once doctors make a diagnosis, they move on to staging the disease. Staging can help determine the treatment plan.
- the presence of B symptoms
- biopsy results
- whether the cancer has spread throughout the body
Generally, the outlook for people with NLPHL is favorable. The disease tends to grow slowly and is curable.
However, the exact outlook depends on the cancer stage at diagnosis.
For example, people with no B symptoms and early stage disease may only require targeted radiation therapy of the affected lymph nodes.
Doctors may also recommend a wait-and-see approach for people who have no symptoms. This approach involves monitoring the lymphoma closely and starting treatment when symptoms arise.
In people with early stage NLPHL, treatment typically begins when B symptoms start and involves chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy.
For advanced stage NLPHL, treatment may involve chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and rituximab, a monoclonal antibody that targets specific cancer cells.
Relapsed NLPHL refers to cancer that returns after successful treatment.
Refractory NLPHL means the cancer did not respond to treatment. Treatment may not have destroyed the cancer cells, or the cancer may have continued to grow even with treatment.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about NLPHL.
What is nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer of the white blood cells.
What is the survival rate for nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a 10-year survival rate of over 90%.
What is the treatment for nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Radiation therapy is the
If symptoms develop, treatment usually includes chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Doctors may prescribe different combinations of chemotherapy medications depending on the stage of the disease.
What age is nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma can develop at any age. However, it occurs most often in people 30–50 years of age.
NLPHL is a type of cancer affecting the white blood cells. It is a rare subtype of classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
NLPHL tends to progress slower than classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is curable. Symptoms typically start with swollen lymph nodes in the neck or under the arms. Treatment may include radiation therapy and chemotherapy.