Browsing Clinical Oncology by Subjects
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Current treatment approaches for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.There have been two major developments over the last decade that has led to improvements in outcome and longer survival for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). These developments have been firstly to increase the dose of active cytotoxic drugs and shorten the time between cycles, resulting in dose-dense and/or dose-intense regimens and secondly the addition of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab to chemotherapy. Both strategies have been associated with higher response rates, lower relapse rates, longer event-free survival (EFS) and improved overall survival (OS), particularly in better prognostic groups. A combination of dose-dense and dose-intense chemotherapy regimens plus rituximab is currently being tested to confirm that the use of both approaches confers survival advantage. High-risk, poorer-prognosis DLBCL remains a challenge, and new treatment strategies are required for these patients. Improvements in outcome may potentially be achieved through a greater understanding of the genetic abnormalities specifically associated with poorer-prognosis disease, and factors that lead to unresponsiveness to chemotherapy. The role of radiotherapy is currently less clearly defined than at anytime in the management of DLBCL and the current evidence for using radiotherapy in this disease is therefore rigorously reviewed.
How have outcomes for patients with follicular lymphoma changed with the addition of monoclonal antibodies?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.