Lymphatic cancer affects the cells of the immune system responsible for protecting the body against infections. It is estimated that there are around 35 types of lymphoma, which makes diagnosis and treatment difficult. When the diagnosis is Hodgkin's lymphoma, polychemotherapy, with or without radiotherapy, achieves the cure of 80% of patients, but in the case of non-Hodgkin the percentage is not so favorable.

However, according to Dr. Dolores Caballero, hematologist and president of the Spanish Group of Lymphomas / Bone Marrow Autologous Transplantation (GEL / TAMO), belonging to the Spanish Society of Hematology and Hemotherapy (SEHH), which was created with the aim of investigate about lymphatic cancer and discover new treatments to fight against this disease, "the new ones are starting to work monoclonal antibodies”.

The treatment consists of administering to the patient some synthetic proteins, similar to the antibodies of the immune system, designed to detect which lymphocytes are affected and eliminate them selectively, thus slowing down the progression of the disease.

Early diagnosis is essential, as well as identifying the type of lymphoma and the stage in which the disease is found, because this will determine the treatment to be followed and the patient's prognosis.

An epidemiological study conducted by the Spanish Registry of Lymphomas, reveals that in our country about 8,500 new cases of lymphomas are diagnosed each year, but it is a pathology that, in its beginnings, usually goes unnoticed due to the lack of symptoms. Usually, the sign that usually indicates the existence of a lymphoma is the inflammation of a lymph node, although there are other symptoms that can alert as unexplained fever, excessive tiredness or night sweats.

According to Doctor Caballero, early diagnosis is essential, as well as identifying the type of lymphoma and the stage in which the disease is found, because this will determine the treatment to be followed and the patient's prognosis.

Recent advances in treatments have allowed high healing rates to be reached in the most aggressive lymphomas, also improving the quality of life of patients. This is the case of follicular lymphoma, which has now become a chronic disease because, as the specialist points out, an "average survival of 16 years" has been achieved.

Source: Spanish Society of Hematology and Hemotherapy (SEHH)

Monoclonal Antibodies: Making Cancer a Target (November 2019).