NHL Staging in Children

Several different systems are available for the staging of NHL in children (e.g., the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital system, the Children's Cancer Group system). Perhaps the most popular system is the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital model, which separates patients on the basis of limited versus extensive disease.

Stage 1: NHL is limited to one lymph node group (e.g., neck, underarm, groin, etc.) or tumor outside of the abdomen or mediastinum (middle chest)
Stage 2: NHL is limited to one tumor with local lymph node involvement, or NHL is limited to two or more tumors or lymph node groups on the same side of the diaphragm, or NHL is limited to a primary tumor of the gastrointestinal tract with/without involvement of local lymph nodes.
Stage 3: NHL includes tumors or lymph node groups on both sides of the diaphragm, or any primary NHL tumor within the thorax (trunk) or extensive NHL within the abdomen, or any NHL around the spine or the outermost membrane of the brain and spinal cord (dura mater).
Stage 4: NHL is in the bone marrow or central nervous system (CNS), with/without other sites of involvement. Bone marrow NHL is defined as 5 percent malignant cells in an otherwise normal bone marrow with normal blood counts and smears. By contrast, lymphoblastic lymphoma that produces more than 25 percent malignant cells in the bone marrow is defined as leukemia.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 14 Aug 1999

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2015