Older Patients With Follicular Lymphoma Benefit From Appropriate Therapy

For patients with follicular lymphoma who were older than 80 years of age, receipt of appropriate therapy for follicular lymphoma was associated with living longer, found a retrospective cohort study. The study findings were recently published in the Journal of Geriatric Oncology.

Study researchers retrospectively identified patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database who were older than 80 years and had received a diagnosis of follicular lymphoma between 2000 and 2013. Patients were grouped as either having received a follicular lymphoma-directed therapy (ie, a therapy recommended by National Comprehensive Cancer Network [NCCN] guidelines between 1997 and 2016) or having not received this kind of treatment and who were therefore characterized as being “untreated” for follicular lymphoma.

A total of 3705 patients were identified, of whom 2519 (68%) received a follicular lymphoma-directed therapy and 1186 (32%) whom did not. The cohort had a median age of 84 years (interquartile range [IQR], 81-87 years) and were followed for a median of 2.9 years (IQR, 1.2-5.5 years). Twenty-one percent of patients received rituximab monotherapy in the first-line setting, making it the most frequently used frontline treatment.

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Patients who were treated had a significantly longer median overall survival compared with patients who were not (4.31 years vs 2.86 years; P <.001), and a survival difference was consistently seen 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years after diagnosis.

Overall, patients who received follicular lymphoma-directed treatment had a 23% lower likelihood of death compared with patients who did not (hazard ratio [HR], 0.77; 95% CI, 0.70-0.85).

“These findings can support treatment decision making for individuals diagnosed with FL [follicular lymphoma] at older ages,” the study authors concluded.

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