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Follicular lymphomas in vulnerable/older patients

Tucci, Alessandra; Rossi, Giuseppe

doi: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000000555
LYMPHOMA: Edited by Dominique Bron

Purpose of review Unlike for diffuse large-cell lymphoma, both the management of elderly patients with follicular lymphoma and the role of comprehensive geriatric evaluation to optimize treatment choices have been rarely addressed. This review analyses available evidence on follicular lymphoma occurring in aged persons.

Recent findings Most retrospective studies and expert recommendations agree that the diagnostic approach and the treatment algorithm in elderly follicular lymphoma should not differ from younger patients up to the age of 80. However, slowly progressing follicular lymphoma low-tumor burden should start treatment even though asymptomatic. Prospective identification of those unfit patients is needed where a treatment deintensification may not be detrimental. Octogenarians have more aggressive disease and do not benefit from chemoimmunotherapy more than from single-agent rituximab. An activity of daily living loss significantly impact on their outcome and specific prognostic scores may help in the better manage these oldest patients.

Summary Given the lack of prospective studies there is an urgent need to investigate if geriatric assessment including comorbidities, geriatric parameters, patient's reported outcomes and quality of life issues, may help selecting those frail elderly follicular lymphoma patients less suitable for full-dose treatments. In addition, the potential usefulness of the new noncytotoxic agents of proven efficacy in follicular lymphoma warrants specific investigations in older patients.

Department of Hematology, ASST-Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy

Correspondence to Alessandra Tucci, MD, ASST-Spedali Civili, P. le Spedali Civili, 1, 25123 Brescia, Italy. Tel: +39 30 3995 438; e-mail:

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