What is neurolymphomatosis?
Neurolymphomatosis is the infiltration of the central or peripheral nervous system by cancerous lymphoma cells. Though it is most commonly seen in aggressive B-cell type non-Hodgkin lymphomas, it is possible to develop NL in conjunction with all types of lymphoma. Symptoms include somatic issues such as pain, sensory deprivation, and loss of motor control, though symptoms vary widely in different cases. NL can be difficult to diagnose, though improvements in medical imaging have helped resolve this issue. Additionally, NL is extremely rare (in one sample, only 1.8% of NHL patients were found to have NL), and thus there are no set guidelines on how to treat the condition when it does arise.
Due to a lack of clinical information on NL, there are no set guidelines, and actually very little recorded data on how to treat the condition. One thing that is known is that chemotherapy is moderately effective, at least in the short term. According to one study, “chemotherapy alone has an objective response rate of 82%.” But, as also noted in the study, the long-term outcomes are highly variable.