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Follicular lymphoma treatment can benefit patients 80 years and older



Follicular lymphoma (FL) treatment was associated with improved survival among patients diagnosed with FL at aged 80 years and older, according to the results of a large, retrospective database cohort study.

Researchers used the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results–Medicare dataset to identify patients 80 years of age and older, diagnosed with FL between 2000 and 2013, identifying FL-directed treatments based on published guidelines. They used a propensity-score matched sample to compare treated and untreated patient cohorts who had similar observed characteristics.

They assessed 3,705 older patients with FL and a mean age of 84 years). Over a median follow-up of 2.9 years, 68% of the sample received FL-directed therapy and the most common regimen was rituximab monotherapy, which 21% (768 patients) received.

The median overall survival for the treated group was 4.31 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.00-4.61) vs. 2.86 years (95% CI, 2.59-3.16) for the untreated group, according to the report, published in the Journal of Geriatric Oncology.

The 3-year restricted mean survival time for the treated group was 2.36 years (95% CI, 2.30-2.41), vs. 2.05 years (95% CI, 1.98-2.11) for the untreated group. Treatment was associated with a 23% reduction in the hazard of death (HR: 0.77; P < .001).

Multivariable analysis showed that older age and a Charlson Comorbidity Index score of two or higher, and a proxy indicator for poor performance status, were inversely associated with receiving treatment. “These factors are expected to discourage physicians from providing FL-directed therapy,” the researchers suggested.

“We observed that, in a cohort of FL patients aged 80 years or older, FL-directed therapy was associated with an overall survival benefit, which persisted in important subgroups,” the researchers concluded.

Financial support for this study was provided by Bayer. One of the authors is employed by Bayer.

SOURCE: Albarmawi H et al. J Geriatric Oncol. 2020;11:55-61.

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