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Children and young adults with early-stage non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can often be treated successfully with no radiation and with lower than usual doses of chemotherapy, a study has found.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a disease of the lymph nodes, is one of the most curable types of cancer, especially if treated early. However, the treatment itself can cause damaging side effects.

In a study in today's New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Michael P. Link and colleagues from Stanford University compared the standard treatment against two regimens that eliminated the usual radiation and gave lower doses of chemotherapy.

The 340 patients were younger than 21, and all had cancer that had not spread.

Five years later, 86 to 89 percent of the patients were free of disease, regardless of the treatment they received.

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