Survival Rates for Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Advances in treatment have increased the overall survival rates for children with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) dramatically in recent decades. The 5-year survival rate is used for many types of cancer to refer to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer. With regard to children with NHL, those who are still alive and free of disease after 5 years are likely to have been cured, as it is rare for these cancers to return after this much time.

Survival rates give doctors a standard way to discuss and compare the prognosis (outlook) for people with cancer. Some parents want to know the survival statistics for children in similar situations, while others might not find the numbers helpful, or might not want to know them. If you would rather not read about survival rates, please skip to the next section, How Is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treated in Children?

Current survival rates are based on children diagnosed and treated many years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may mean that the outlook is better for children diagnosed recently.

Survival statistics can sometimes be useful as a general guide, but they can’t predict what will happen in any child’s case. A number of factors, including the type of lymphoma, the location and size of the tumor(s), and how well the lymphoma responds to treatment, also affect the outlook. Your child’s doctor can tell you if the numbers below apply to your child’s situation.

The ranges of numbers given below are based on the results of several studies that have used different treatment regimens or included slightly different groups of patients.

Lymphoblastic lymphoma

With intensive treatment, around 90% of children with limited stage (stage I or II) lymphoblastic lymphoma can be cured.

The cure rate for more advanced (stage III or IV) lymphoblastic lymphomas is generally higher than 80%.

Burkitt and Burkitt-like lymphoma

Treatment of limited stage (stage I and II) Burkitt lymphomas is usually very successful, with a cure rate of over 90%.

The cure rate for children with more advanced (stage III or IV) Burkitt lymphoma ranges from about 80% to 90%.

Large cell lymphomas

The cure rate is over 90% for limited stage (stage I and II) diffuse large B-cell lymphomas and is slightly lower for anaplastic large cell lymphomas.

The cure rate for children with advanced (stage III or IV) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma ranges from about 80% to 90%. For advanced anaplastic large cell lymphoma, the cure rate is about 60% to 75%.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: March 7, 2014 Last Revised: January 27, 2016

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