Approximately 20% of patients with aggressive NHL do not respond to treatment and 30% of those who do respond to treatment experience a relapse after a remission. Although treatment is difficult, cure or remission can be achieved in up to 50% of such patients with a second line of treatment, called salvage treatment. Salvage treatment for aggressive NHL usually consists of combination chemotherapy (chemotherapy with combination drugs). High-dose chemotherapy and autologous PBSCT (peripheral blood stem-cell transplant) may also be performed if necessary.
If neither cure nor remission is possible, the aim is to relieve symptoms. This is called palliative treatment. Some patients may consider taking part in a clinical trial to help evaluate a new treatment or combination of treatments.