Small Molecules Bring Hope for Follicular Lymphoma Patients

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There is tremendous buzz about how monocloncal antibodies possibly combined with emerging small molecule, targeted therapies - pills - could allow Follicular Lymphoma patients to lead full, longer lives.  Dr. Gilles Salles from the University Hospital of Lyon presented data at the 9th European Congress on Hematologic Malignancies in Lyon, and then he joined us to talk about the latest developments.

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

Welcome to Patient Power.  I'm Andrew Schorr. 

There are new medicines being developed for follicular lymphoma, and it presents a very hopeful picture.  There are monoclonal antibodies, like Rituxan (rituximab), and more modern ones, and there are small molecules, pills, and all this could would alone or in combination for even greater effectiveness.  That's the hope. 

This was discussed at the 9th Congress on Hematologic Malignancies in Lyon, France, and a lymphoma expert from Lyon was a presenter, Dr. Gilles Salles.  He joins us now. 

Dr. Salles:

I think the field of indolent lymphoma, especially follicular lymphoma, is quite fascinating.  At the present time we have powerful tools to contain the disease, to treat the disease for prolonged period of time, and given all the new molecules coming out, there is really a prospect of hope for patients.  They have a long life expectancy, and I am quite convinced that in the near future they will be likely to benefit from new agents which are older molecules, new molecules, targeting pathway into tumor cells or targeting the micro environment. 

Andrew Schorr:

And I understand there are some patients who may not need treatment right away, although, perhaps, the prospect of oral therapy as maintenance therapy could change that. 

Dr. Salles:

Clearly, with follicular lymphoma, there are patients that are not in immediate need of therapy and for which therapy can be withheld for a couple of months, potentially couple of years, and eventually may survive several years without treatment and without the need of initiating therapy.  We have to carefully select these patients.  We have to carefully monitor them, and maybe, this paradigm may change in the future with new agents. 

Andrew Schorr:

So I would imagine close monitoring is important with either imaging studies or molecular tests. 

Dr. Salles:

It is clearly important to monitor patients, first clinically, then we have new imaging techniques such as CT or PET/CT which are important.  There are also molecular techniques that are helping us, although, they are not widely used in the routine practice. 

Andrew Schorr:

It seems your field is changing dramatically. 

Dr. Salles:

Clearly, we are in a fascinating world, and with new agents and new tools, the way we do manage patients today, is already different from the way it was 10 years ago, and is probably different from the way it will be in 10 years. 

Andrew Schorr:

Dr. Gilles Salles, thank you for joining us on Patient Power and for your devotion to lymphoma patients. 

Dr. Salles:

Thank you. 

Andrew Schorr:

I'm Andrew Schorr.  Remember, knowledge can be the best medicine of all. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on September 13, 2014