How we manage follicular lymphoma

Leukemia. 2014 Jul;28(7):1388-95. doi: 10.1038/leu.2014.91. Epub 2014 Feb 28.


Major changes have taken place within the last few years in the management of follicular lymphoma (FL) leading to substantial improvement in prognosis and overall survival. For some patients with limited disease stages I and II, radiotherapy may be associated with durable responses; however, it is unclear whether patients are cured and new approaches such as the combination of irradiation with rituximab or even single-agent rituximab need to be explored. Whereas watch and wait is the current standard for stage III and IV disease with low tumour burden, better indices are warranted to potentially select patients for whom early intervention is preferred. For advanced stages with a high tumour burden, immunochemotherapy followed by 2 years of rituximab maintenance is widely accepted as standard therapy, although re-treatment at recurrence may be an alternative option. Highly attractive new therapeutic options have recently arisen from new antibodies, and from new agents targeting oncogenic pathways such as B-cell receptor signalling pathways or inhibition of bcl 2. Furthermore, immunomodulatory drugs may add to the therapeutic armamentarium and may lead to 'chemotherapy-free' therapies in the near future. Hence, the management of FLs has become a moving target and the hope is justified that the long-term perspectives of patients suffering from the disease will be further improved in the near future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging