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Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers
A lab test to diagnose follicular lymphoma (FL) is the first step toward proper treatment. In the earliest stages of the disease, this traditionally means radiation therapy. However, new research from the University of Rochester Medical Center suggests that there are actually six different regimens physicians may employ, with outcomes that are roughly equal.
In 2011, about 66,000 Americans were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, of which FL is the most common type. Because there is little data available to support one treatment of FL over another, a team of scientists conducted a study to investigate further.
The researchers reviewed about 10 years' worth of medical records from more than 470 FL patients. The scientists grouped the subjects according to whether their disease was staged carefully.
Results showed that the overall survival rates between the two patient groups were similar, but those who were more diagnosed more carefully were less likely to experience a relapse.
Furthermore, the researchers noted that treatment varied, including regimens of immunotherapy/chemotherapy and radiation/chemotherapy combinations. Only 34 percent of stage 1 FL patients received traditional radiation therapy.
"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," said researcher Jonathan Friedberg, M.D.
However, diagnosis with a lab test may be the first step patients need to take.
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