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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Sep 10;23(26):6394-9.

Treatment strategies in follicular lymphomas: current status and future perspectives.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Munich, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377 Munich, Germany.


Although little progress has been made in the treatment of follicular lymphomas (FL) within the last few decades, several new therapeutic modalities have recently demonstrated promising activity. These include myeloablative therapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation in younger patients in first remission revealing a significant prolongation of remission duration in three prospective randomized trials, whereas the impact on overall survival still needs to be determined. Adding the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab to conventional chemotherapy resulted in a significant increase in remission rate, remission duration and in two of four currently available prospective randomized studies even in a longer overall survival. A prolongation of remission duration was also seen when rituximab was administered as maintenance after cytoreductive therapy or by prolonged application as a single agent. Radioimmunotherapy (RIT) with radioisotopes coupled to monoclonal antibodies revealed encouraging data in several phase II studies. Prospective randomized studies are warranted, however, to define the impact of RIT on FL therapy. New therapeutic perspectives also emerge from increasing insights into the biology of the disease that unravel molecular targets for novel agents, some of which have entered clinical evaluation already.

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