Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many options, good outcomes, for early-stage follicular lymphoma

Date:
August 21, 2012
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
A new study challenges treatment guidelines for early stage follicular lymphoma, concluding that six different therapies can bring a remission, particularly if the patient is carefully examined and staged at diagnosis.

A University of Rochester Medical Center study challenges treatment guidelines for early stage follicular lymphoma, concluding that six different therapies can bring a remission, particularly if the patient is carefully examined and staged at diagnosis.

The research underlines the fact that when cancer strikes, modern patients and their oncologists across the United States are taking many diverse treatment paths when there is scant data to support one method over another. This study suggests that the old standard approach -- radiation therapy, alone -- is no longer the best choice for early follicular lymphoma, according to researchers at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at URMC, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Lead author Jonathan W. Friedberg, M.D., acting director of the Wilmot Cancer Center and chair of Hematology/Oncology at URMC, pointed out that the earlier recommendation for radiation was based on uncontrolled experiences at select institutions.

"As we move into an era focused on quality, we need research like this to help us determine the true effectiveness of various therapies when definitive studies are lacking," Friedberg said. "The choice of treatment should be based on whether it produces remission and survival. And if the outcomes are equivalent, then we'll need to consider toxicities and tolerance of therapies, as well as cost. We hope our data will assist physicians in making decisions with patients."

Researchers followed 471 patients for up to 10 years. The study is believed to be the largest of early-stage follicular lymphoma (FL) in the modern treatment era.

All patients were identified through a disease registry called National LymphoCare, which includes more than 2,700 cases diagnosed between 2004 and 2007, at 200 medical practices in the U.S.

As the definition of stage 1 FL changed over time, so did the way doctors evaluated and diagnosed patients. Two groups emerged in the study: People who received a comprehensive staging exam, which included imaging tests and a bone marrow biopsy, and people who were not carefully staged. The latter group had more recurrences and individuals were less likely to survive. This finding emphasizes the importance of a rigorous evaluation at diagnosis as the best way to predict the prognosis, Friedberg said.

Among all patients, researchers observed six treatment approaches, from a conservative watch-and-wait strategy to an aggressive combination of chemotherapy and radiation.

An important goal of the Wilmot study was to better understand the outcomes associated with the various treatment options, since no data so far has proven that one therapeutic approach is better than another for early-stage FL. Researchers noted that only 34 percent of patients with stage 1 FL were treated with the recommended radiation therapy, according to their analysis of the national cancer database.

Of the 206 patients who were carefully staged, a greater percentage also chose more aggressive therapy, such as an immunotherapy-chemotherapy combination (28 percent versus 17 percent of non-rigorously staged patients) or chemo and radiation (13 percent versus 6 percent non-rigorously staged patients).

Although the overall survival outcomes were the same for both groups, the patients who were most carefully evaluated at diagnosis had superior progression-free survival, which means the cancer did not relapse as often. (FL is characterized by frequent relapses, even if treatment controls the relapses.) During a median follow-up of 57 months, 21 percent of the staged patients experienced FL progression.

An estimated 66,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011. Follicular lymphoma is the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Most often it occurs in older people. FL is usually slow-growing; an early symptom is lymph node enlargement. Although not curable, the median five-year survival rate is about 75 percent and patients can live for many years, even after relapses. Approximately 26 percent of people who have FL are diagnosed at stage 1.

Genentech funded the research. The drug company, a member of the Roche Group, makes Rituxan (rituximab), approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997as the first therapeutic antibody for cancer. It is often indicated for follicular lymphoma. Additional funding came from the National Cancer Institute SPORE grant, which supports a lymphoma research partnership between the URMC and University of Arizona Cancer Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. W. Friedberg, M. Byrtek, B. K. Link, C. Flowers, M. Taylor, J. Hainsworth, J. R. Cerhan, A. D. Zelenetz, J. Hirata, T. P. Miller. Effectiveness of First-Line Management Strategies for Stage I Follicular Lymphoma: Analysis of the National LymphoCare Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2012; DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2011.40.6546

Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Many options, good outcomes, for early-stage follicular lymphoma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120821162509.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2012, August 21). Many options, good outcomes, for early-stage follicular lymphoma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120821162509.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Many options, good outcomes, for early-stage follicular lymphoma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120821162509.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins