The good folks at Patient Power, who do such a fantastic job of providing information about cancer and other diseases, have put up a new video from last month's ASH conference. The video features an interview with Dr. Brad Kahl from the University of Wisconsin's cancer center, on the results from the RESORT study.
I discussed the results of this study about a month ago; it's been recognized as one of the major pieces of news to come out of ASH.
The RESORT study is the one that determined that, for most patients, giving Rituxan as needed is preferable to Rituxan maintenance. That is, after initial treatment, it's probably better for Follicular NHL patients to hold off on treatment until it is needed, rather than having Rituxan every 6 months to keep the lymphoma at bay.
Dr. Kahl is very open about the study: he admits that there is little difference between the two approaches, and that it was be very possible to look at the data and come to the opposite conclusion.
He also says that, of course, that decision is entirely dependent on the individual patient. For example, he says doctors have to measure a patient's coping strategies and abilities -- how mentally or emotionally prepared they are to watch and wait. As I've said before, I was OK with the treat-as-needed approach that Dr. R recommended, just as I was OK with watching and waiting. My temperament would allow it. But some patients need something more aggressive, fulfilling their need to do something. There are so many right answers when it comes to fNHL -- it's a curse sometimes, but it can be a blessing, too.
As usual, Patient Power does an excellent job of getting a researcher to discuss difficult subject matter in fairly simple terms. All credit goes to Andrew Schorr, who is such a fantastic host, interviewer, and patient advocate.