In advanced stage indolent lymphoma, therapeutic approaches may vary from watch and wait, antibody monotherapy, conventional chemotherapy or dose-intensified consolidation up to allogeneic strategies. In this nation-wide survey, representative hematological/oncological centers monitored current treatment strategies under routine conditions. 495 centers involved in the treatment of indolent lymphoma including university hospitals (UH), community hospitals (CH), and office-based hematologists (OBH) were contacted. 13% of identified centers provided information on 741 patients corresponding to 10% of the expected national prevalence. Detailed data on 576 unselected patients (median age 67 years, range 17 to 95) with treatment decision in the second and third quarter of 2006 (start, change or end of therapy) of 46 representative centers (2 UH, 25 CH, and 19 OBH) were included in this analysis. Data were verified by monitoring anonymized patients source data. Median age was 67 with hypertension (28%), coronary heart disease (14%), diabetes (11%), heart failure (8%), cardiac arrhythmia (7%) and renal impairment (7%) being the most frequent concomitant diseases at time of diagnosis. Histology included 39% follicular lymphoma, 26% chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), 10% marginal zone, 9% mantle cell lymphoma, and 16% other histologies. Aim of initial therapy was curative in 35%, aiming at improved survival in 62% and palliation in 54% of patients. Radiation (10%), antibody monotherapy (4%), chemotherapy (33%) and combined immuno-chemotherapy (31%) were the most frequent approaches. Applied chemotherapies included CHOP (46%), fludarabine combinations (F/FC/FCM: 15%), chlorambucil (14%), CVP/COP (9%), Bendamustin (4%), with maintenance (12%) and autologous/allogeneic stem cell consolidation both in 3% of patients. In first relapse, complex regimen including immuno-chemotherapy (49%), maintenance therapy (16%), and autologous/allogeneic transplantation (14%/4%) were more frequently planned. As expected, significant differences were observed between follicular, mantle cell lymphoma and CLL. Interestingly, supportive measures including antibiotics (34%), erythrocyte transfusions (32%), G-CSF (22%), immunoglobulins (19%), antifungal drugs (13%), and erythropoietin (10%) were frequently applied already in first line therapy. Overall response was 83% (FL: 97%, MCL: 95%, CLL: 74%) with a 39% CR rate. Only 10% of first line patients were treated within studies (UH: 19%, CH: 5%, OBH: 13%). In this population-based survey, patient characteristics differed significantly from published study cohorts as did clinical strategies and therapeutic approaches. Thus, clinical studies more relevant to the treatment of medically compromised patients are urgently warranted.
Full conference title:
49th American Society of Haematologists Annual Meeting
- ASH 49th (2007)