Background: The aim of the study was to determine the outcome and clinical features predictive of survival in patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) treated aggressively and to determine the rate of disease-specific mortality in patients with grade 3 FL (FL3). Materials and methods: Four hundred and twenty-one patients with FL who were treated with various anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimens were included in this retrospective study. Results: Patients with FL3 and a diffuse component of >50% had the worst outcome, with a hazard ratio of dying of 2.2 (95% CI 1.4-3.4) compared with patients with FL1 or FL2, and a ratio of 1.6 (95% CI 1.02-2.5) compared with FL3 with a diffuse component of ≤50% by multivariate analysis (P = 0.0026). Patients with FL3a had an outcome similar to those with FL3b. In patients with FL3 and a diffuse component of ≤50%, the overall and event-free survival curves showed a plateau for patients younger than 60 years of age. However, there were no differences in the cumulative incidence of relapse/progression or lymphoma-specific/treatment-related mortality between the two age groups. Conclusions: Less than half of the patients with FL3 and a diffuse component of ≤50% treated with anthracycline-based combination chemotherapy will relapse and relapses are uncommon after 6 years. Older patients should be offered the same aggressive chemotherapy as younger patients.
- Grade 3 follicular lymphoma
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