Follicular lymphoma is the most
common sub-type of indolent (slow-growing) NHL, comprising 20% to 30% of all
NHL. Follicular lymphoma typically affects middle-aged or older adult. Like
most indolent lymphomas, people diagnosed with follicular lymphoma usually have
lymphoma in many parts of the body at the time of diagnosis. A small percentage
of people with FL can have their lymphoma transform into a more aggressive form
of NHL, usually a DLBC over time.
What are the symptoms?
The most common sign of follicular
NHL is painless swelling in the lymph nodes of the neck, armpit or groin. More
commonly more than one group of nodes is affected.
How is it treated?
Treatment for follicular lymphoma
depends on the stage of the lymphoma.
Early stage :If diagnosed at an early stage ( 1 or 2 ) there may be no treatment given ( Watch and Wait) or radiation or chemotherapy could be started.
Later stage: If diagnosed at a later stage ( 3 or 4) and if there are no symptoms Watch and Wait with very close monitoring is an option.
Once the need for treatment arises
the most common treatments include:
Chemotherapy medicines with the addition of a monoclonal antibody.
These can be used alone or in combination with radiotherapy Prolonged treatment with MabThera (called MabThera maintenance
therapy) may also be used to treat people with follicular NHL who have
received treatment for follicular lymphoma and have achieved remission
(complete or partial remission). This prolonged administration with
MabThera maintenance therapy (generally administered every three months
for a period of two years) has been shown to sustain the response obtained
from the initial therapy and may improve survival for people with
Follicular NHL usually responds quite
well to chemotherapy. However, there is a risk that it may return in future
years. At that time, treatment is given again with the aim of achieving
remission again. This pattern may repeat itself over many years or some
patients with relapsed FL, high-dose chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell
transplant (in which patients receive their own stem cells) or an allogeneic
stem cell transplant (in which patients receive stem cells from a donor) may
provide a prolonged disease-free interval.
It is critical to remember that
today's scientific research is continuously evolving. Treatment options may
change as new treatments are discovered and current treatments are improved.
Therefore, it is important that patients check with their clinician for any
treatment updates that may have recently emerged.
Because FL is generally characterized
by multiple disease relapses after responses to a variety of treatments,
patients in remission should have regular visits with a clinician who is
familiar with their medical history as well as with the treatments they have
received. Medical tests (such as blood tests CT and PET scans) may be required
at various times during remission to evaluate the need for additional treatments.
Some treatments can cause long-term
effects or late effects, which can vary based on duration and frequency of
treatments, age, gender, and overall health of each patient at the time of
treatment. The doctor will check for these effects during follow-up care.
Lymphoma survivors should receive
regular medical exams from a physician who is familiar with their medical
history as well as the treatments they have received. Survivors and their
caregivers are encouraged to keep copies of all medical records and test
results as well as information on the types, amounts and duration of all
This documentation will be important
for keeping track of any effects resulting from treatment or potential disease
For more detailed information or to downlad our fact sheet please click here Follicular Lymphoma