Marginal zone lymphoma clinical trials are research studies that help doctors find new ways to treat, find and diagnose, prevent, and manage symptoms of MZL. Some clinical trials also manage side effects from treatment. Clinical trials are the last step before new treatments can be approved for use outside of a research study, at which time they could be considered a standard treatment.
Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is a type of slow-growing lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. There are three types of MZL, which include Extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma, or mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), Nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma, and Splenic marginal zone B-cell lymphoma. All these types have available treatment options through marginal zone lymphoma clinical trials.
Extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma or mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) is the most common form of MZL. It is slow-growing and accounts for 9% of all B-cell lymphomas. It can develop in the stomach (gastric) or outside the stomach (non-gastric) and can affect the lungs, small intestines, thyroid, salivary glands, and eyes.
Nodal marginal B-cell lymphoma is a rare type of MZL that develops in the lymph nodes and is considered low-grade, or slow-growing.
Splenic marginal zone B-cell lymphoma is a rare form of MZL, accounting for less than 2% of lymphomas, according to the American Society of Hematology’s Blood Journal. It develops in the spleen, bone marrow, or both.
Symptoms of Marginal Zone Lymphoma
The symptoms of MZL vary depending on the type. These symptoms occur in most types of MZL:
- Enlarged lymphoma nodes
- Fever without an infection
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- Skin rash or itching
- Chest or abdominal pain
Symptoms that occur in MALT include:
- Stomach pain
Nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma can cause a painless lump in the groin, armpit, or neck area.
Splenic marginal zone B-cell lymphoma can cause an abnormal blood count, fatigue, and discomfort caused by an enlarged spleen.
Treatment of Marginal Zone Lymphoma
The treatment for marginal zone lymphoma will depend on what type of MZL is identified and its stage. Tests will be carried out to determine the type of MZL identified, including a biopsy, gastroscopy, bronchoscopy, breath test, and more.
The treatment for MALT lymphoma could include antibiotic therapy, clinical trial participation, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgical removal. The standard treatments are chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Treatment for nodal marginal B-cell lymphoma might include watchful waiting, radiation therapy, chemoimmunotherapy, or participation in a clinical trial.
Splenic marginal zone B-cell lymphoma treatment could include watchful waiting, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, chemoimmunotherapy, or clinical trial participation.
It is important to consult with a doctor to determine which treatment option will be best for a specific case because treatment will depend on cancer type, disease stage, and more.