In a nutshell
This study evaluated the outcomes of patients with localized (cancer has not spread to other parts of the body) early-stage follicular lymphoma (FL) after positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scanning. This study concluded that radiotherapy is a highly effective treatment for these patients.
FL is one of the most common types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Chemoimmunotherapy remains the typical first-line treatment. However, for patients with localized stage 1 – 2 disease, radiotherapy may be more effective.
PET/CT scanning after initial treatment is used to evaluate how well a patient responds to treatment. This type of scanning can help determine treatment outcomes for patients with FL. The PET scan results can then guide further treatment. Whether more accurate evaluation with PET/CT scanning leads to better outcomes for patients with FL remains under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study involved 512 patients with localized stage 1 – 2 FL treated with radiotherapy. All patients were staged based on PET/CT scanning. Patients were followed-up for an average of 52.3 months.
53.3% of patients received PET/CT or CT scans within 6 months after treatment. Of these, 86.1% achieved a complete response (disappearance of all signs of cancer).
For all patients, five-year overall survival (patients still alive 5 years later) was 95.7%. Five-year progression-free survival (patients still alive 5 years later without tumor growth or spread; PFS) was 68.9%. Patients with stage 1 disease had a longer PFS compared to patients with stage 2 disease (74.1% vs. 49.1%).
The bottom line
This study concluded that radiotherapy is a highly effective treatment for patients with localized, early-stage FL staged by PET/CT.
The fine print
This study was retrospective, meaning it looked back in time to analyze data. Also, data about side effects was only available for 72.7% of patients. Studies with longer follow-up periods are needed to further evaluate long-term outcomes in patients with FL.
Published By :
Nov 16, 2018
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