Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

The Royal Marsden offers a range of diagnosis, treatment and care services for patients with Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma at its hospitals in Chelsea, London, and Sutton, Surrey.

Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma services at The Royal Marsden

  • Diagnosis, tests and investigations: primary assessment and diagnosis including the Lymph Node Diagnostic Clinic
  • Cancer genetics
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Critical care 
  • Rehabilitation, including a post-transplant programme
  • Palliative and supportive care

All types of lymphoma are treated at The Royal Marsden by our multidisciplinary team:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • B-cell and T-cell lymphomas, such as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
  • follicular lymphoma
  • chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • mantle cell lymphoma.

Services are provided through a specialised inpatient unit for the delivery of more intensive chemotherapy and a newly refurbished outpatient area.

Primary assessment and diagnosis

We provide a service for all newly diagnosed and suspected lymphomas at our Lymph Node Diagnostic Clinic. All patients are seen by a consultant medical oncologist who specialises in these areas during their visit and will meet a clinical nurse specialist for lymphoma.

Lymphoma can present with a wide variety of symptoms including swollen lymph glands. Our Lymph Node Diagnostic Clinic provides a specialist service to assess and investigate abnormally enlarged lymph glands. Possible investigations which may be deemed necessary include blood tests, scans with either ultrasound or CT, and a needle biopsy; all of these can be organised through The Royal Marsden.

Patients with newly diagnosed lymphoma usually require multiple tests to assess the extent of the disease, or staging investigations and tests to assess their fitness for treatment. These can include CT scans, blood tests, a bone marrow biopsy, a PET scan and, sometimes, a repeat biopsy of the lymphoma. All of these will be considered by the specialist doctor and can be performed promptly at The Royal Marsden.

Treatment

Treatment for lymphoma largely depends on the type of lymphoma diagnosed, but can include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, symptom control or occasionally surgery. All new patients at The Royal Marsden with lymphoma are discussed at our multidisciplinary meeting to establish a management plan. The outcome from the meeting is always relayed back to the patient at their next clinic visit.

There are many types of chemotherapy, and if you need chemotherapy your doctor will discuss which is appropriate for you. Oral chemotherapy can be taken at home with monitoring via the clinic while intravenous chemotherapy is usually given as a day case on a Medical Day Unit or as an inpatient on a ward.

The Royal Marsden is also a large research centre so the Lymphoma Clinical Trials Unit has a number of clinical trials available to patients.

Patient care and support

Patients of The Royal Marsden Lymphoma Unit have access to numerous services to support them through their illness.

We have several clinical nurse specialists in lymphoma, and all new patients will meet and be allocated one as their key-worker at the beginning of their treatment.

Services provided by departments within the hospital include psychological medicinesocial services / benefits advice, occupational therapy, pain management and palliative care when required.

The Royal Marsden routinely provides written information to our patients to explain the illness, procedures, treatment plans and other relevant aspects of management.