Recent studies report an improvement in overall survival (OS) of patients with follicular lymphoma (FL). Previously untreated patients with grade 1-2 FL referred from 1960-2003 and treated at Stanford were identified. Four eras were considered: era 1, pre-anthracycline (1960-1975, n=180); era 2, anthracycline (1976-1986, n=426), era 3, aggressive chemotherapy/purine analogs (1987-1996, n=471) and era 4, rituximab (1997-2003, n=257). Clinical characteristics, patterns of care and survival outcomes were assessed. Observed OS was compared with the expected OS calculated from Berkeley Mortality Database life tables derived from population matched by gender and age at time of diagnosis. The median OS was 13.6 years. Age, gender and stage did not differ across the eras. Although primary treatment varied, event free survival after the first treatment did not differ between eras (p=0.17). Median OS improved from approximately 11 years in eras 1 and 2 to 18.4 years in era 3 and has not yet been reached for era 4 (p<0.001) with no suggestion of a plateau in any era. These improvements in OS exceeded improvements in survival in the general population during the same time period. Several factors, including better supportive care and effective therapies for relapsed disease, are likely responsible for this improvement.
View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2013-03-491514
View details for Web of Science ID 000322879100021
View details for PubMedID 23777769