Monday, April 1, 2013

Bright Picture for Follicular Lymphoma

The good folks at Patient Power have  a new video interview on Follicular Lymphoma, with the very happy title, "Bright Picture for Patients with Follicular Lymphoma."

The video is a follow-up from the 9th European Congress on Hematological Malignancies in February, where, according to the video, Follicular Lymphoma was a big topic of discussion. No links to papers or abstracts, but their agenda shows some sessions on Follicular Lymphoma that cover the Big Issues: watch and wait, frontline treatments, how to treat at relapse, etc, etc. Basically, the same questions I've been reading about for 5 years -- the ones that we're still trying to answer.

So, while there don't seem to be any definitive answers coming out of the Congress, there are at least some hopeful developments. The video features an interview with Dr. Marinus van Oers from the Netherlands, who presented at the conference on "Optimal treatment for relapsing FL patient."

Dr. van Oers does indeed offer some hopeful information, including the results from a European study that showed that 20% of patients never needed any treatment after 16 years. That doesn't apply to me, of course, but it does validate the legitimacy of Watching and Waiting, something I do have an interest in (even if it's only to look back an reaffirm that I made the right decision 5+ years ago).

He also mentions that newer monoclonal antibodies, as well as other types of treatments, might very well help us do away with chemotherapy for Follicular lymphoma sometime in the (fairly near) future. "Small, smart molecules," as he says, will target cancer cells but leave healthy cells alone.

All in all, a brief video, but one worth watching, if only for the quick shot of hope it gives.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. It is always good to listen to hopeful experts. I am from the Nethetlands and have heard of dr. van Oers. He is heading a new research centre in Amsterdam. LYMMCARE. This centre intends to combine research on a number of related bloodcancers, including follicular lymphoma. I like reading your blog posts!

Lymphomaniac said...

Thanks, Joanna. Sounds like some good information might come out of LYMMCARE. Keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

Bob you said you made the right decision 5+ years ago. What was that decision?

Lymphomaniac said...

I decided to watch and wait (upon the recommendation of my oncologist, of course). It seemed verrrrrry strange at the time -- why not treat cancer? But I trusted his decision, and I spent the time learning all I could about the disease. Two years to the day after diagnosis, I started 6 rounds of Rituxan. It's been over three years since I've needed treatment.
So, I'm pleased with my decision to watch and wait back then, and pleased as well with the overall approach to go with the treatment that does the least possible harm.