Purpose: The optimal management of stage I follicular lymphoma, according to consensus guidelines, is based on uncontrolled experiences of select institutions. Diverse treatment approaches are used despite guidelines that recommend radiation therapy (XRT). Patients and Methods: We analyzed outcomes of patients with stage I follicular lymphoma enrolled onto the National LymphoCare database. Results: Of 471 patients with stage I follicular lymphoma, 206 patients underwent rigorous staging as defined by both a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy and an imaging study (a computed tomography [CT] scan of the whole body, a positron emission tomography [PET]/CT scan, or both). Rigorously staged patients had superior progression-free survival (PFS) compared with nonrigorously staged patients (hazard ratio [HR], 0.63). Treatments given to rigorously staged patients were rituximab/chemotherapy (R-chemo; 28%), XRT (27%), observation (17%), systemic therapy + XRT (13%), rituximab monotherapy (12%), and other (3%). With a median follow-up of 57 months for PFS, there were 44 progression events (in 21% of patients) for rigorously staged patients. For these patients, PFS was significantly improved with either R-chemo or systemic therapy + XRT compared with patients receiving XRT alone after adjustment for histology, LDH, and the presence of B symptoms. There were no differences in overall survival. Conclusion: In this largest, prospectively enrolled group of patients with stage I follicular lymphoma, variable treatment approaches resulted in similar excellent outcomes, which challenges the paradigm that XRT should be standard for this presentation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research