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Chemoimmunotherapy with rituximab (R-chemo) or obinutuzumab (G-chemo) is standard of care for patients with previously untreated symptomatic or high-tumor-burden follicular lymphoma. Median progression-free survival (PFS) with R-chemo plus R maintenance exceeds 10 years, and G-chemo plus G maintenance improves PFS relative to the corresponding R-containing regimen. Despite these positive results, a sizable proportion of patients continue to progress during or shortly after initial treatment. While no single definition of early relapse has been established, progression of disease within 24 months of initial treatment (POD24) is now widely accepted as a critical adverse prognostic factor. Multiple studies have shown increased mortality risk in patients with POD24 versus those without POD24. Unfortunately, tools for the assessment of POD24 risk are suboptimal, and it is not currently possible in clinical practice to identify individual patients who are at increased risk for early relapse. Treatment strategies for patients with POD24 are not well defined. G-chemo regimens appear to reduce the risk of POD24 relative to R-chemo regimens, although the impact on survival outcomes remains unclear. Beyond standard therapy, autologous stem cell transplant and emerging treatment modalities, such as bispecific antibodies and chimeric antigen receptor T-cells, may have a role in future management. Until standard treatments are defined, mitigating the risk of early relapse with effective up-front treatment remains the priority.
Oncology and Therapy – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2021
Keywords: Autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT); Bispecific antibodies; Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells; Follicular lymphoma; Obinutuzumab; Progression of disease within 24 months of initial treatment (POD24); Rituximab
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