In a nutshell
This study examined the effectiveness of lenalidomide (Revlimid) plus rituximab (Rituxan) in previously untreated follicular lymphoma. The authors concluded that this was a safe and effective first-line treatment option.
The first treatment often used in follicular lymphoma is rituximab combined with chemotherapy. Radiation may also be involved. These treatments can lead to long periods without disease. However, these treatments are also associated with many side effects that can decrease quality of life.
Lenalidomide is a therapy that has been used in other types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma. It can block new blood vessels from forming around that tumor. It may also stimulate the immune system to fight the cancer. It has been shown to be effective combined with rituximab in patients with recurrent follicular lymphoma.
Methods & findings
This study examined the effectiveness of lenalidomide combined with rituximab as a first-line treatment. 65 patients were included in this trial. 51 completed 12 cycles of lenalidomide. Patients were followed for an average of 5 years.
95% of patients showed a response to treatment. Of these, 72% showed a complete response (no sign of active disease). The 2-year progression-free survival (PFS, time from treatment until disease progression) was 86%. The 5-year PFS was 70%. After 5 years, 100% of patients were still alive.
21% of patients experienced seriously or severely low levels of white blood cells. 2% experienced low levels of platelets (blood cells involved in clotting). The most common mild side effect was fatigue. Other side effects included infection, rash, and gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea, nausea).
The bottom line
This study concluded that lenalidomide plus rituximab was a safe and effective first-line treatment option for patients with follicular lymphoma.
Published By :
Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology
Aug 31, 2017
If you sign up for Medivizor, you'll receive PERSONALIZED updates that are JUST FOR YOU. Want to give it a try?