Medical Oncology

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 131–142 | Cite as

Low-grade lymphomas: new entities and treatment concepts

  • Fredrick B. Hagemeister


Therapy for patients with low-grade lymphomas has never been standardized. Recently, new entities have been described which are included in the REAL classification, and whether these entities should be regarded as separate diseases is not yet clear. Regardless, three new developments in the management of patients with low-grade lymphomas deserve special attention for treatment programs in the future. First, it appears that patients with stage I, II, and III low-grade lymphomas may enjoy very prolonged disease-free intervals after treatment with combination chemotherapy and radiation therapy programs. Although investigators disagree on prognostic factors, new features, such as β2-microglobulin appear to predict results better than any other feature, and future studies should address this prognostic factor in assessing their results. Second, for patients with advanced stage disease, administration of interferon as maintenance therapy prolongs the disease-free interval, and use of this drug should be further investigated. Finally, molecular studies using PCR forbcl-2 may be clinically relevant in detecting residual disease in patients with follicular lymphomas, and future studies should focus on the value of eliminating the residual disease from blood and marrow.


low-grade lymphomas chemotherapy BCL-2 β2-microglobulin 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fredrick B. Hagemeister
    • 1
  1. 1.Anderson Cancer Center, Department of HematologyUniversity of Texas M.D.HoustonUSA

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