When follicular lymphoma recurs, what should patients expect? Expert Dr. Kami Maddocks from The Ohio State University explains recurrence and how recurrence can differ among patients.
So we have a person asking, “Does lymphoma recurrence always happen in an aggressive manner?”
Dr. Kami Maddocks:
That’s a great question. The answer is no on that, and, in fact, lymphoma recurrence doesn’t always need to be treated just because it does recur. So when you look at follicular lymphoma, there are patients who are in a watch-and-wait period. When they’re diagnosed, they’ll eventually progress to requiring treatment or most…well, there are patients who might not. Once they require treatment, they get a time period without…most of them will get a time period without disease.
There are patients who will…that you’ll find lymph nodes growing on CT scans maybe that you’re doing monitoring for, but the patient will otherwise feel well. They won’t have, necessarily, very big lymph nodes. Their blood counts will be okay and you may say, okay, just like you had watch-and-wait to start with, we’re going to watch and wait right now with this relapse, because you don’t have any indications that are saying we need to treat this.
And again that doesn’t necessarily make our patient live longer. So you want to balance their quality of life and toxicities of treatment. There are patients who will…when they relapse, they will have indications for treatments, and then there are patients who will potentially have more aggressive relapses and be very symptomatic or have larger lymph nodes.
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