Transformed Follicular Lymphoma in the Rituximab Era: A Report from the Spanish Lymphoma Oncology Group

M Méndez, M Torrente, M Sánchez-Beato, J González-Rincón, A Royuela, J Gómez-Codina, L de la Cruz-Merino, A Rueda, M Llanos, C Quero, D Rodríguez-Abreu, J Gumá, S Monsalvo, P Sabin, M Provencio
Hematological Oncology 2019 March 6
Follicular lymphoma (FL) is the second most common non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtype. The histological transformation (HT) of FL is an event considered frequent in the natural history of this tumor. We studied the transformation rates, predictive factors and treatment characteristics that may impact in the survival of patients with FL and HT. A total of 1074 patients diagnosed with FL were prospectively enrolled from 1990 to 2016 in a Spanish registry. 64 HTs were recorded based on clinical criteria (55%) or histological confirmation (45%). The cumulative incidence rate of transformation at 5 years is 7.3%. The 5-year overall survival without HT was 85% (95% CI 70-90%) vs 66% (95% CI 51-76%; p 0.0012) with HT. Factors associated with HT were elevated LDH (OR 1.83), intermediate-high FLIPI (OR 2.16-OR 3.21), B symptoms (OR 2.46) or ECOG 1 (OR 2.35). Treatment options related to HT were "watch and wait" or no rituximab or anthracyclines initially. A 5-year OS for patients treated with chemotherapy before HT was 55% (CI 95% 38-69%) versus 81% (CI 95% 53-93%; p 0.009) for those who had not received it. The HT rate has decreased after the introduction of rituximab, as has been previously described. The timing of this treatment had an impact on the survival of these patients.

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