Italian researchers have completed a study on the best treatment for advanced Follicular Lymphoma. Results were published last month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Cure Today has a nice summary.
The results show that R-CHOP is the best choice, by several measures: Time to Treatment Failure and Progression-Free Survival, as well as the best Risk/Benefit ratio.
Here's the problem: in this study, R-CHOP was compared to R-CVP and R-FM (Fludarabine and Mitoxantrone). Not exactly cutting-edge treatments.
So, in a sense, kind of a useless study. R-CVP and Fludarabine are both certainly still used, though they are rapidly falling out of favor, with Bendamustine in the lead for our best Risk/Benefit choice, and a whole bunch of others -- non-chemotherapies -- close on its heals.
Which, in a way, makes the study very good news, too. It demonstrates just how quickly we're moving along. The lead researcher in the study admits that his results are already a little behind the times, as the Cure Today article says:
Dr. Federico agreed that bendamustine versus CHOP is now the central question. "Just (as) we solved the dilemma between R-CHOP and R-CVP, we are now (debating) the dilemma between R-CHOP and R-bendamustine," he said.
I remember, five years ago, soon after I was diagnosed, Dr. R saying Fludarabine was an option. No one really talks much about it now. Something that was more or less cutting edge just five years ago is more or less useless now.
Makes you wonder what things will look like in five more years, doesn't it? Bendamustine, a Cold War relic? Rituxan, like Al Gore, a shadow of the 90's? All those inhibitors, laughably out of date?
That would be pretty cool.