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Many options, good outcomes, for early-stage follicular lymphoma
Date:8/21/2012

A University of Rochester Medical Center study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, challenges treatment guidelines for early stage follicular lymphoma, concluding that six different therapies can bring a remission, particularly if the patient is carefully examined and staged at diagnosis.

The research underlines the fact that when cancer strikes, modern patients and their oncologists across the United States are taking many diverse treatment paths when there is scant data to support one method over another. This study suggests that the old standard approach radiation therapy, alone is no longer the best choice for early follicular lymphoma, according to researchers at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at URMC.

Lead author Jonathan W. Friedberg, M.D., acting director of the Wilmot Cancer Center and chair of Hematology/Oncology at URMC, pointed out that the earlier recommendation for radiation was based on uncontrolled experiences at select institutions.

"As we move into an era focused on quality, we need research like this to help us determine the true effectiveness of various therapies when definitive studies are lacking," Friedberg said. "The choice of treatment should be based on whether it produces remission and survival. And if the outcomes are equivalent, then we'll need to consider toxicities and tolerance of therapies, as well as cost. We hope our data will assist physicians in making decisions with patients."

Researchers followed 471 patients for up to 10 years. The study is believed to be the largest of early-stage follicular lymphoma (FL) in the modern treatment era.

All patients were identified through a disease registry called National LymphoCare, which includes more than 2,700 cases diagnosed between 2004 and 2007, at 200 medical practices in the U.S.

As the definition of stage 1 FL changed over time, so did the way doctors evaluated and diagnosed patients. Two groups emerged in the s
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Contact: Leslie Orr
Leslie_Orr@urmc.rochester.edu
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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