The non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) are characterized by initial responsiveness to a variety of chemotherapeutic regimens. Nevertheless, most patients progress and die from their disease. A number of new agents with unique mechanisms of action are in clinical development. Agents that are currently considered to be the most promising include those that induce apoptosis; those that interfere with cell cycling, tumor-associated angiogenesis, farnesylation of the Ras gene, and histone deacetylase; and those that inhibit the proteasome, among others. Increasing insights into the differences between tumors and among patients will lead to more individualized therapeutic strategies using agents directed at specific genetic and immunologic targets. More rapid accrual to high-quality clinical studies will facilitate dissemination of new agents to patients and lead to an increased cure rate for NHL.