Background: We studied progress in the fight against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in the Netherlands by describing the changes in incidence, treatment, relative survival, and mortality during 1989–2007.
Patients and methods: We included all adult patients with NHL [i.e. all mature B-, T-, and natural killer (NK) cell neoplasms, with the exception of plasma cell neoplasms], newly diagnosed in the period 1989–2007 and recorded in the Netherlands Cancer Registry (n = 55 069). Regular mortality data were derived from Statistics Netherlands. Follow-up was completed up to 1 January 2009. Annual percentages of change in incidence, mortality, and relative survival were calculated.
Results: The incidence of indolent B-cell and T- and NK-cell neoplasms rose significantly (estimated annual percentage change = 1.2% and 1.3%, respectively); incidence of aggressive B-cell neoplasms remained stable. Mortality due to NHL remained stable between 1989 and 2003, and has decreased since 2003. Five-year relative survival rates rose from 67% to 75%, and from 43% to 52%, respectively, for indolent and aggressive mature B-cell neoplasms, but 5-year survival remained stable at 48% for T- and NK-cell neoplasms.
Conclusions: In the Netherlands, incidence of indolent mature B-cell and mature T- and NK-cell neoplasms has increased since 1989 but remained stable for aggressive neoplasms. Survival increased for all mature B-cell neoplasms, preceding a declining mortality and increased prevalence of NHL (17 597 on 1 January 2008).