Impact of treatment in long-term survival patients with follicular lymphoma: A Spanish Lymphoma Oncology Group registry

PLoS One. 2017 May 11;12(5):e0177204. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177204. eCollection 2017.


Background: Follicular lymphoma is the second most common non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States and Europe. However, most of the prospective randomized studies have very little follow-up compared to the long natural history of the disease. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the long-term survival of our series of patients with follicular lymphoma.

Patients and methods: A total of 1074 patients with newly diagnosed FL were enrolled. Patients diagnosed were prospectively enrolled from 1980 to 2013.

Results: Median follow-up was 54.9 months and median overall survival is over 20 years in our series. We analyzed the patients who are still alive beyond 10 years from diagnosis in order to fully assess the prognostic factors that condition this group. Out of 166 patients who are still alive after more than 10 years of follow-up, 118 of them (73%) are free of evident clinical disease. Variables significantly associated with survival at 10 years were stage < II (p <0.03), age < 60 years (p <0.0001), low FLIPI (p <0.002), normal β2 microglobulin (p <0.005), no B symptoms upon diagnosis (p <0.02), Performance Status 0-1 (p <0.03) and treatment with anthracyclines and rituximab (p <0.001), or rituximab (p <0.0001).

Conclusions: A longer follow-up and a large series demonstrated a substantial population of patients with follicular lymphoma free of disease for more than 10 years.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Anthracyclines / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Anthracyclines
  • Rituximab

Grants and funding

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.