Treatment Options for Castleman’s Disease
If you have been diagnosed with Castleman’s Disease, you will probably have a team of healthcare professionals involved in your treatment. Depending on which treatment options are most appropriate for you, your team may include:
- A hematologist-oncologist (a doctor who treats illnesses of the blood and lymph system or a doctor who treats cancers of the blood and lymph system)
- A medical oncologist (a doctor who uses medicines to treat cancer and other diseases)
- A radiation oncologist (a doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer and other diseases)
- A virologist (a doctor who treats viruses)
- A surgeon
Your team may also include nurses, nurse practitioners, nutrition specialists, social workers, and other health professionals.
Multicentric Castleman’s Disease treatment options
There are several different types of treatments available that a doctor may use to address the symptoms of Multicentric Castleman’s Disease.
Immunotherapy is a kind of treatment that works on the immune system. It helps a person’s own immune system work harder, or uses man-made versions of parts of the immune system to help the person’s immune system work better. Immunotherapies include man-made immune proteins that target specific markers, and are showing promise in treating Castleman’s Disease.
Corticosteroids are a group of drugs that are related to hormones our bodies make.
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drugs that enter the bloodstream and reach all parts of the body. Chemotherapy (also called “chemo”) is sometimes used alone. Other times it is combined with other treatments.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cells.
Your doctor may use other medications to help manage your condition. Talk to your doctor about which option is right for you.
Treatments in development
Some people with Multicentric Castleman’s Disease also have human herpesvirus-8. Treatments with medicines that kill the virus have had some success.
Doctors often try combining treatments for Castleman’s Disease. They may use two or more of the following therapies: corticosteroids, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, or antiviral therapy.
Unicentric Castleman’s Disease treatment options
The treatment that is most often used for Unicentric Castleman’s Disease is surgery. Since there is only one group of lymph nodes involved, a surgeon is usually able to remove them. Many people are cured through this treatment.
If it is not possible to completely remove the swollen lymph nodes, radiation therapy can be a valuable alternative.