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Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2011 Jun;24(2):179-86. doi: 10.1016/j.beha.2011.02.008. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Treatment strategies in limited stage follicular NHL.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, 875 Blake Wilbur Drive, Room CC-G224, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Limited stage (I-II) follicular lymphoma is an uncommon entity, since most patients with this disease have generalized adenopathy (stage III) or bone marrow involvement (stage IV). Although patients who present with stage III-IV disease often are considered to be incurable, ~50% of patients with limited disease will enjoy long-term freedom-from progression, usually following treatment with radiation therapy. Relapse among these patients is uncommon after 10 years and exceedingly rare after 15 years. Radiation treatment is generally restricted to the involved nodal region(s) with modest (~5 cm.) extension proximally and distally. Radiation dose is generally 30 Gy, but may be boosted slightly (36 Gy total) in the presence of bulky disease. Randomized clinical trials have been insufficiently powered to define the value of any additional treatment beyond radiation therapy, although single arm studies suggest a benefit to the addition of chemotherapy. There have been no reported experiences with chemo-immunotherapy or radioimmunotherapy. Patients should be monitored during follow up to identify transformation to a more aggressive lymphoma.

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