Today at ASCO Several Lymphoma Studies Presented

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Today several lymphoma studies were presented in a poster session and oral presentation session.

Younes1a.jpgIn the poster session, Dr. Witzig of Mayo Clinic presented an update on the single agent activity of lenalidomide in patients with relapsed indolent non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).  Twenty-two patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) were included in the study, of whom 6 (27%) achieved partial and completer responses (PR + CR).  Building on the single agent activity of lenalidomide and rituximab in patients with indolent lymphoma, Dr Nathan Fowler of MDACC reported early results from an ongoing phase II study combining both drugs in newly diagnosed patients   To date 7 patients with FL are treated and all achieved complete remissions.   

Dr Matasar and Strauss from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reported on long term morbidity and mortality  of 746 patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma treated in adulthood at MSKCC between 1975 and 2000.  The 20 year mortality was  28.7%.  and half of those died due to causes other than Hodgkin lymphoma, including treatment related long term toxicity.  This data support the effort to developing less toxic regimens in this young patients population.

Dr Coiffier from France reported on the outcome of patients with diffuse large cell lymphoma whose disease relapses after 5 years.  Despite the late relapse, these patients had only 18% event free survival and 25% overall survival, suggesting that aggressive therapy, including stem cell transplant should be considered in this patient population.

 The oral session included two important randomized trials.  The first was reported by Dr David Cunningham from the United Kingdom comparing RCHOP every 14 days with RCHOP every 12 days.  Importantly, the trial included 1080 patients with all age groups and all prognostic factors. With a median follow up of 17 months, both arms produced similar repose rates, suggesting that the regimens are equally effective.  Long term follow up will be needed to determine whether this early data will translate into similar survival advantage.

In a second randomized study from France, Dr. Gisselbrecht updated data from the CORAL study which randomized 400 patients with relapsed and refractory diffuse large cell lymphoma to RDHAP or RICE followed by autologous stem cell transplant.   Both regimens produces a similar response rate of 63%, but RDHAP was slightly more toxic.  Patients who relapsed from rituximab-containing regimen did worse than those who did not.  The study completed enrollment and mature data will be presented in the future, including a second randomization to rituximab maintenance.

Later this afternoon, Dr Barbara Pro will give a talk at the education session on new therapy for T cell lymphoma. 

Tomorrow, I will report on the plenary session and other exciting developments.

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