Lymphoma Program

Lymphoma refers to several types of blood cancers that develop in the lymph system, an important part the immune system that includes the spleen, liver, and bone marrow, plus the hundreds of lymph nodes located throughout the body. It is a unique form of cancer because it can begin almost anywhere in the body.

Treatments for lymphoma are changing rapidly, so it is important to seek the opinion of lymphoma experts with the most comprehensive care and expertise available:

  • A multidisciplinary team of experts who specialize in lymphoma care
  • Follow-up care and emotional support
  • Latest technologies and advanced screening and diagnostic techniques
  • Treatments and therapies tailored just for you

Comprehensive Care With You in Mind

As a “comprehensive” center, our medical teams have met strict guidelines in clinical, laboratory, and population-based research. Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only institution in Iowa and one of only 45 nationwide to be designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Of the approximately 1500 cancer centers and programs in the United States, NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers are rated in the top 4 percent nationally.

Our doctors, nurses, and staff are among the nation’s leaders in cancer research, education, prevention, and outreach. Our experience and expertise guides the cancer care we provide to patients like you.

Team-Based Approach

We bring together experts from different areas of medicine to work together in a multidisciplinary oncology group focused on a specific cancer type such as lymphoma.

This team of specialists—surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists, genetics counselors, nurses, and others design a treatment plan tailored to your cancer and specific treatment needs.

Why choose Holden for your care?

Patients of Holden Cancer Center benefit from a team-based approach that puts each patient at the center. At Holden, experts in specific cancer types—including a genetic counselor certified and specializing in cancer genetic counseling—is part of this team.

Holden patients also benefit from medical advances that take into account an individual’s tumor, genes, environment, and lifestyle to diagnose and treat their specific types of cancer. Known as personalized, or precision medicine, this highly specialized approach is part of Holden’s commitment to providing life-changing medical treatments and care.

What Sets Us Apart

  • Among the nation’s best: Holden Cancer Center is a National Institutes of Health-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 45 such centers nationwide.
  • Coordinated care, personal attention: Our multidisciplinary care team includes a nurse navigator who will help coordinate all aspects of your care. We also offer a range of counseling services, support groups, and more for you and your family.
  • Clinical trials: Access to potentially new medications, treatments, or imaging studies not yet widely available.
  • Experts dedicated solely to lymphoma: Our fellowship-trained medical oncologists and hematopathologists focus primarily on lymphoma. This leads to deeper understanding, greater expertise and ultimately, better care for you.
  • Genetic counseling: Our genetics counselor may obtain and analyze your family history to calculate your risk for having a genetic mutation and counsel you on which genetic test, if any, to undergo.
  • Lymphoma SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence), a National Cancer Institute-funded research program based at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and Mayo Clinic.
  • Team approach, targeted treatments. Our lymphoma experts—medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and others—work together to offer advanced treatments and therapies tailored for you. Treatment plans may include:
    • Active surveillance if your lymphoma is slow-growing or doesn’t cause symptoms
    • Chemotherapy including liposomal drug delivery
    • Immunotherapy including monoclonal antibody and cytokine therapy
    • Pinpointed, high-dose radiation therapy that minimizes damage to healthy tissue
    • Stem cell or bone marrow transplants

The Power of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that test new treatments not yet available to the public. These new treatments have the potential to improve your quality of life or increase your chances of survival.

Many of our patients have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials led by Holden Cancer Center doctors, collaboration with other cancer centers nationwide, or the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Our clinical trials for lymphoma patients:

  • Burkitt lymphoma study
    • Help determine the safety and effectiveness of dose-adjusted, standard chemotherapy treatment in treating Burkitt lymphoma with fewer side effects than other standard chemotherapy treatments.
    • Drugs consist of:
      • Cyclophosphamide
      • Doxorubicin
      • Etoposide
      • Prednisone
      • Rituximab
      • Vincristine
  • Lymphoma Molecular Epidemiologic Resource (LMER) and Lymphoma Epidemiology and Outcomes (LEO) Clinical Date and Tissue Sample Collection Project
    • Collect and store patients’ clinical information and tissue samples
      • Allow researchers to learn more about disorders of the lymph or blood system
    • Goal is to find causes and better treatments for these disorders

Learn more about clinical research at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and search a database of current cancer clinical trials.

Support Our Mission

Our work is made possible in part from the support of donors through charitable giving. Friends of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can become partners in our efforts to control and ultimately cure cancer. Learn how you can help us make a difference for cancer patients.

Lymphoma Care Team

Physician, Pathology

  • Carol Homan, MD, PhD