Patient-Specific Vaccine Therapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Maribeth Hohenstein

Susan E. King

Jennifer M. Fiore

Teresa O'Brien

Susan Blumel

CJON 2005, 9(1), 85-90. DOI: 10.1188/05.CJON.85-90

Follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is an indolent, or slow-growing, malignant disease of the lymphoid tissue, which usually responds to initial therapy. However, the disease is characterized by multiple relapses and remissions, eventually causing death. Several effective therapies are available, but improvement of overall survival in patients with follicular NHL has not been demonstrated. Stimulation of the immune system to recognize malignant lymphoma cells as foreign has been demonstrated as a viable treatment option for patients with follicular NHL. Patient-specific vaccine therapy is a new form of active immunotherapy being studied for NHL. Clinical trials have shown a benefit for patients receiving this type of therapy. This article will provide a foundation for nurses caring for patients receiving patient-specific vaccine therapy.

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