Important New Two Year Milestone Determined for DLBCL Patients


A new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has very important implications for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

According to Matthew Maurer, assistant professor of biostatistics at the Mayo Clinic and the study's lead author, newly diagnosed patients with DLBCL who experience no cancer-related outcome events (such as disease progression or relapse) for two years following diagnosis can look forward to the same life expectancy as they did before they were diagnosed.

Making the two year mark such an important milestone will change the way patients are counseled by their physicians and likely give hope to many patients who otherwise may have found themselves waiting for as many as five years.

"Patients want to know the good and the bad, and they want to know the natural history of the disease and their long-term risk of dying," said Maurer. "It is extremely useful to be able to assess how their risk of relapse changes as they remain in a disease-free state. If a patient is in event-free remission for two years, we can now say they are more likely to die from something else than from their lymphoma."

In order to reach these surprising conclusions, Mayo researchers followed 767 DLBCL patients enrolled in the Mayo Clinic/University of Iowa Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Lymphoma (SPORE) molecular epidemiology resource database. These patients were treated with rituximab and anthracycline-based chemotherapy.

On review of pathology and medical records, researchers found that as patients remained event-free, their outcomes improved until eventually pulling equal to that of the age- and sex-matched general population at 24 months post-diagnosis.

These results have been confirmed in by another two French studies involving 820 patients.

Source: Mayo Clinic

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