Until recently, treatment strategies for lymphoma have been largely based on cell morphology. At present, standardized treatment approaches are common, despite ongoing advances in precision medicine for lymphoid malignancies. As the field of precision medicine continues to advance, the utility of real-world data to support the development of improved therapies for lymphoma is becoming increasingly evident.

In a review article published in the British Journal of Haematology, Tarec C El-Galaly, MD, DMSc, of the department of clinical medicine at Aalborg University in Denmark, and colleagues summarized current literature surrounding the use of real-world data to improve treatment strategies, risk stratification, and evaluation of treatment-related adverse events in patients with lymphoid cancers.

Dr El-Galaly told Hematology Advisor, “Staying up to date in the area of precision medicine will become [increasingly] difficult in the [near] future, as we will likely see a rapid expansion in the number of therapies available.”

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Data Sources

Real-world data can be collected from a variety of sources, including patient and institutional registries, electronic health records, genomic databases, and, most recently, directly from patients. For example, the regional British Columbia Cancer Agency lymphoma registry and the American Society of Clinical Oncology CancerLinQ system both compile clinicopathological and treatment data in addition to other clinical outcomes. Collectively, these databases represent a valuable source of information that may help answer questions that prospective studies cannot.

In cases of rare lymphomas, retrospective studies have utilized institutional registries to help inform clinical decision making. With respect to obtaining information directly from patients, findings from recent studies suggest that implementation of patient-reported outcomes has the potential to individualize patient care. Health care providers in particular would be able to provide more personalized care and better address the specific needs of each patient.

“It is likely that patient-reported outcomes data generated from real-world lymphoma patients could facilitate individualized patient care during treatment and follow-up,” the reviewers wrote.

This article originally appeared on Hematology Advisor