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The treatment for anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) typically involves several phases and can include a variety of treatment modalities including chemotherapy, targeted therapies, stem cell transplant, immunotherapies and clinical trials. The treatment your ALCL specialist will recommend depends on your age, ALCL subtype, and if you have any other medical conditions. Explore the different treatment options used to treat each ALCL subtype.

1. ALK-Positive and ALK-Negative Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

ALK-positive and ALK-negative ALCL are usually treated with a combination of chemotherapy agents: 

  • B-CHP: Brentuximab vedotin* plus cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), doxorubicin (Adriamycin) and prednisone (a corticosteroid)
  • CHOEP: Cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), etoposide, and prednisone
  • CHOP: Cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine sulfate, and prednisone

*Brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) is an antibody-drug conjugate designed to attack the CD30 protein found on the surface of ALCL cells. It can be used in those who are newly diagnosed or who have had at least 1 combination chemotherapy treatment that has failed. 

The number of cycles and the exact type of chemotherapy you have depends on several factors like your age, the stage of your ALCL and whether it is ALK-positive or ALK-negative. Some people with early-stage ALK-positive ALCL might also have radiation to the affected area.

If someone has relapsed or refractory ALCL, an autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplant may be recommended. Brentuximab vedotin can also be used if it hasn't be used as part of the first line treatment. 

2. Primary Cutaneous Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

Localized treatment with either radiation therapy or surgical excision are the preferred therapies for single lesions of primary cutaneous ALCL. Radiation therapy has a response rate of 100% and has shown to be more effective than using chemotherapy. For people with multiple lesions in which radiation or surgery are not good options and who have relapsed, the monoclonal antibody, brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) may be used. 

3. Breast Implant-Associated ALCL

Breast implant-associated ALCL is treated by surgically removing the breast implants and any lumps that are present. This could be all the treatment a person needs. However, if the ALCL is more widespread, a person may have chemotherapy that usually consists of a CHOP chemotherapy regimen. 

Clinical Trials for Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

Clinical trials are not just a last resort for treating ALCL. They can actually provide access to cutting-edge treatments that are not yet approved but show promise over years of testing. The choice of a clinical trial depends on a variety of factors including the patient's age, overall health, the subtype of ALCL, and genetic changes in the lymphoma cells. It's important to discuss all treatment options, including goals and possible side effects, with your healthcare team to help make the best decision. 

To learn more about your ALCL clinical trial options, visit HealthTree's ALCL Clinical Trial Finder. Utilize the advanced filter option to locate trials that you are eligible to participate in. You can create a HealthTree account to favorite your top trial options so you can discuss them with your ALCL specialist.

Want to Learn More About Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma?

Keep reading HealthTree for ALCL's 101 pages!

What is Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma?

How is Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma Diagnosed?

How Long Will I Live With Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma?

How is Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma Staged and Classified?

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma?

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