Barry Pollock, 50 years old at
start of treatment, Brisbane, Australia.
Diagnosed low grade B cell NHL
in my bladder, July 2001 after my urologist removed a growth taking up
approximately a third of the right side of my bladder and extending
into my abdomen. Bone
marrow biopsy showed no NHL involvement but showed symptoms of
The urologist referred me to a
hematologist who put me on 6 courses of CNOP protocol initially.
This dramatically reduced the lymphoma on the right side of my
bladder but a lymphoma came up on the left side of my bladder and
increased in size. Bone
marrow biopsy still clear of NHL and Mastocytosis was not evident
January 2002: He then put me
on the ESAP protocol - high dose chemo with stem cell harvest and
transplant. Prior to
treatment, bone marrow biopsy shows return of Mastocytosis.
Scans following this treatment showed nothing remaining.
However, the urologist went in to examine the bladder and took a
biopsy of an area of thickening on the left side that turned out to
still show lymphoma remaining.
October 2002: I had 4 weeks of Mabtheria antibody treatment.
December 2002: I had 22 daily doses of radiation treatment.
April 2003: Bone marrow biopsy shows Mastocytosis returned – no sign of
Gallium scan and check by urologist still shows no signs of
NHL. Next check January
2004. I have questioned
specialist re follow up course of Mabtheria and am currently waiting
for his reply.
From my research this type of
lymphoma is a rare one. One
site recorded only a hand full of bladder lymphomas in the whole of
North America, all stage 1 and all in complete remission after
radiation treatment. Lymphoma
in the bladder represents approximately .2% of all bladder cancers.
Another site states that there are less than 100 recorded cases
in English literature with women getting the condition more than men
on the ratio 6:1 and mostly associated with cystitis although not in
My hematologist thinks that
there may be a link between the Mastocytosis and the NHL although this
is doubtful seeing that I have had symptoms of the Masto for
approximately the last 15 years or so and people with masto usually
get NHLs in the GI tract.
He also thinks there is a
possibility of there being a HP type bacteria infection in the bladder
that may have caused the problem even though I have tested negative
for HP. I have seen a
specialist re this and he has found a couple of cases like mine that
tested negative also but the patients were given HP antibiotics and
the tumours disappeared. This
will be my next course of action if the NHL returns.