Early Relapse of Follicular Lymphoma Associated with Poor Outcomes

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In follicular lymphoma treated with R-CHOP, progression of disease following diagnosis associated with poor outcomes.
In follicular lymphoma treated with R-CHOP, progression of disease following diagnosis associated with poor outcomes.

In patients with follicular lymphoma who received first-line treatment with R-CHOP, progression of disease within 2 years following diagnosis was associated with poor outcomes, a study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown.

Because 20% of patients with follicular lymphoma experience disease progression within 2 years of initial treatment with R-CHOP, researchers sought to determine whether early disease progression is associated with poor survival.

For the study, researchers identified 588 patients with stage 2 to 4 follicular lymphoma who received first-line R-CHOP chemoimmunotherapy.

Patients were defined as either experiencing early progression of disease 2 years or less following diagnosis or not experiencing disease progression within 2 years.

Results showed that 19% of the 588 patients experienced early progression of disease, while 71% did not. The other 10% of patients were lost to follow-up or died with progression of disease less than 2 years after diagnosis.

RELATED: Bleomycin, Vincristine Discontinuation Doesn't Affect Efficacy in Hodgkin Lymphoma

Researchers found that 5-year overall survival was 50% in the early progression of disease group versus 90% in the reference group (HR = 6.44; 95% CI: 4.33–9.58).

The findings suggest that progression of disease within 2 years after diagnosis should be further validated as a standard endpoint in clinical trials evaluating patients with untreated follicular lymphoma receiving R-CHOP.


  1. Casulo C, Byrtek M, Dawson KL, et al. Early relapse of follicular lymphoma after rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone defines patients at high risk for death: an analysis from the National LymphoCare Study. J Clin Oncol. 2015. [epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2014.59.7534.

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