• How have outcomes for patients with follicular lymphoma changed with the addition of monoclonal antibodies?

      Illidge, Timothy M; Chan, Clara; School of Cancer and Imaging Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. tmi@manchester.ac.uk (2008-07)
      The outcome for patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) has substantially improved over the last few years. This improved survival appears to be largely related to the increasingly widespread use of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) rituximab in the therapy of FL today, either in combination with chemotherapy, for remission 'induction' and more recently as 'maintenance' therapy. Encouraging results have also been reported from radiolabelled anti-CD20 mAb or radioimmunotherapy (RIT), which exploits the unique method of action of this approach and high radiosensitivity of FL. High response rates and durable remissions have been seen with both (90)Y Ibritumomab tiuxetan and (131)I Tositumomab, and more recently compelling data are emerging demonstrating the efficacy of using these drugs as consolidation after initial treatment with chemotherapy or rituximab plus chemotherapy combinations. This review will focus on the current approaches and explore the data that has led to the emergence of a new nomenclature appearing in the language of clinicians involved in the treatment of FL, namely 'induction' therapy, 'consolidation' of initial response and 'maintenance' therapy. The current treatment approaches that have led to such increased optimism regarding the therapeutic outcome in FL are evaluated and discussed.