Radiation therapy in the management of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: still relevant?
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States. Historically, radiation therapy (RT) was the primary treatment for patients with localized disease. Several randomized trials have demonstrated that the addition of systemic therapy improves outcomes. Additional randomized trials have shown that the combination of RT and systemic therapy is superior to systemic therapy alone. The role of RT in advanced-stage DLBCL has not been firmly established, but some prospective phase III trials, as well as retrospective studies, suggest a benefit for advanced disease also. For patients with relapsed or primary refractory disease, autologous stem cell transplantation is the treatment of choice. Here too, consolidation RT appears to improve outcomes compared with autologous stem cell transplant alone. Finally, for patients with advanced DLBCL who are no longer responsive to systemic therapy, RT may provide rapid and durable palliation of local lymphoma-related symptoms.
Kelsey, CR; Beaven, AW; Diehl, LF; Prosnitz, LR
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