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Chemo 'aids teen lymphoma survival'

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A Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma study has revealed that teenagers could have a better chance of surviving one of the most common, yet aggressive forms of the disease if they underwent an intensive course of chemotherapy.

The study, published in The Lancet, could shape how nurses and other healthcare professionals approach treating young patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the future.

Scientists from French study group Groupe d’Etude des Lymphomes de I’Adulte examined 379 18-year-olds with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, with some undergoing four cycles of dose-intensive chemotherapy at two-week intervals, while the rest received standard treatment in eight cycles at three-week intervals.

They concluded that those who underwent the intensive bout of chemotherapy and took rituximab had a 56% lower chance of dying and were 52% less likely to experience disease progression than those who underwent the standard treatment.

The researcher did, however, concede that increasing the treatment could be detrimental and called for more research to be carried out.

Martin Ledwick, head information nurse at Cancer Research UK, said: “This research could benefit some patients with this type of lymphoma.

“But, as the authors acknowledge, there are risks associated with this treatment and it will be important for doctors to select patients carefully.”

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