New targeted treatment options in lymphoma

Dr_SerdarTurhal_gorselProviding information about new targeted methods in lymphoma treatment, Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal said that lymphoma is the 10 most common cancer types in Turkey and ranks seventh in men and eighth in women. Stating that new targeted treatment options are promising against lymphoma, Prof. Dr. Turhal said, “The variety of these treatments is increasing rapidly with the understanding of the genetic characteristics of lymphoma cells with more advanced diagnostic methods. Success in lymphoma treatment depends on the cell type. While the success rate in benign Hodgkin lymphoma exceeds 90%, it can be below 30% in some aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

Expressing that lymphoma is a type of lymphatic systemic cancer, Prof. Dr. Turhal gave the following information: “The lymphatic system is the system that produces and stores white blood cells that fight germs and are found throughout the body. When lymphoma occurs, white blood cells multiply uncontrollably and cause swelling in the lymph nodes. Lymphoma is generally seen in young people and Hodgkin lymphoma, which is less common, is seen in the elderly. It is divided into two as the more common non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and because of these differences, different treatment approaches are required.”

Emphasizing that non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the 5th most common cancer type in the USA and the 10th most common cancer type in Turkey, Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal, “One type seen in African countries is microbial, but the most common known cause for the remaining species is organ transplant patients who take drugs that weaken the immune system and patients with diseases that weaken the immune system (eg AIDS). Of all lymphoma patients, these make up a small group. “For the remaining majority, the cause of lymphoma is unknown,” he said.

prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal states that some types of lymphoma follow a fluctuating course in the recovery period, but after a while, especially in aggressive ones, there are problems due to mass compression or the invasion of the bone marrow, where the blood elements are made, by lymphoma cells. In the treatment of lymphoma, chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy drugs are used according to the cell type. For targeted therapy drugs to be successful, there must be markers on the cell surface that allow these drugs to recognize lymphoma cells. The chance of success of the treatment depends on the cell type. For example, while the success rate may exceed 90% in Hodgkin lymphoma, which has a better prognosis, it may be below 30% in some aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas. prof. Dr. Turhal states that success can be achieved by stopping the drugs that suppress the immune system in suitable patients, but there is no specific lifestyle change to prevent the occurrence of this disease.

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