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Am J Hematol. 2010 Apr;85(4):255-60. doi: 10.1002/ajh.21655.

Determinants of the optimal first-line therapy for follicular lymphoma: a decision analysis.

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  • 1University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Combination immunochemotherapy is the most common approach for initial therapy of patients with advanced-stage follicular lymphoma, but no consensus exists as to the optimal selection or sequence of available regimens. We undertook this decision analysis to systematically evaluate the parameters affecting the choice of early therapy in patients with this disease. We designed a Markov model incorporating the three most commonly utilized regimens (RCVP, RCHOP, and RFlu) in combinations of first- and second-line therapies, with the endpoint of number of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) until disease progression. Data sources included Phase II and Phase III trials and literature estimates of long-term toxicities and health state utilities. Meta-analytic methods were used to derive the values and ranges of regimen-related parameters. Based on our model, the strategy associated with the greatest number of expected quality-adjusted life years was treatment with RCHOP in first-line therapy followed by treatment with RFlu in second-line therapy (9.00 QALYs). Strategies containing RCVP either in first- or second-line therapy resulted in the lowest number of QALYs (range 6.24-7.71). Sensitivity analysis used to determine the relative contribution of each model parameter identified PFS after first-line therapy and not short-term QOL as the most important factor in prolonging overall quality-adjusted life years. Our results suggest that regimens associated with a longer PFS provide a greater number of total QALYs, despite their short-term toxicities. For patients without contraindications to any of these regimens, use of a more active regimen may maximize overall quality of life.

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