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Cancer. 2007 May 15;109(10):2077-82.

Introduction of rituximab in front-line and salvage therapies has improved outcome of advanced-stage follicular lymphoma patients.

Author information

1
Department of Oncology and Hematology, University of Modena, Modena, Italy. ssacchi@unimo.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is unclear whether new treatment modalities have improved the survival of follicular lymphoma patients. Some data show that there has been no improvement in survival in the last 3 decades of the 20th century, whereas the results of recent retrospective studies suggest that evolving therapy has improved the outcome for follicular lymphoma patients.

METHODS:

To evaluate the impact of evolving therapies for follicular lymphoma, particularly the introduction of rituximab, the overall survival (OS), failure-free survival (FFS), and survival after recurrence (SAR) was analyzed in 438 advanced-stage follicular lymphoma patients enrolled in consecutive Gruppo Italiano Studio Linfomi (GISL) trials between 1988 and 2004.

RESULTS:

A stepwise improvement in FFS and a significant reduction in the hazard ratio was observed with succeeding studies. Cox regression analysis showed an improvement over time for OS, with a decline in the hazard ratio particularly evident in the group treated with rituximab. Furthermore, the SAR significantly improved in the group of patients treated with chemotherapy + rituximab.

CONCLUSIONS:

After adjusting for all parameters with an impact on FFS and OS, the results of multivariate analysis suggest that rituximab therapy has a favorable effect on the prognosis of follicular lymphoma. The data show that FFS and OS have significantly improved in advanced-stage follicular lymphoma patients treated on GISL protocols during the last 18 years. These improvements are related to evolving front-line and salvage therapies, particularly the introduction of rituximab in combination with chemotherapy.

PMID:
17394190
DOI:
10.1002/cncr.22649
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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