Posted on: March 6, 2013
Follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (follicular NHL) is the most common of the indolent (slow growing) non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, and the second most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas overall. Low-grade follicular NHL is a slow growing but thus far incurable disease that patients tend to live with for many years.
The major goals of follicular NHL therapy are to reduce lymphoma activity thereby improving disease related symptoms and to prolong complete remissions, while limiting the side effects of therapy wherever possible. Rituximab is a highly targeted, well-tolerated therapy against these lymphomas. Given either alone or together with chemotherapy, it is the current standard of care for these patients. While using rituximab alone has a much lower potential for side effects, the remission rate is lower at approximately 30 – 50%.
I am the local lead investigator of two clinical trials—HOMER and CALGB 50901—being conducted at Northern Westchester Hospital to study a potential new therapy for follicular NHL.
Although not yet studied in follicular NHL, ofatumumab has induced remissions in patients with similar conditions resistant to other medications.