The anti-CD20 antibody rituximab has been the backbone of initial treatment for previously untreated follicular lymphoma (FL). The treatment options for FL are expanding, with multiple novel agents now approved by the US Food & Drug Administration in first-line and relapsed/refractory disease settings and others in late-stage trials. Despite advances in first-line care, treatment relapses commonly occur, with approximately 20% of patients experiencing relapse within 2 years; these patients have a 5-year overall survival of only 50%. Patients who present with earlier relapse are particularly challenging to treat because they often have more aggressive disease and will be exposed to multiple lines of therapy to attain disease control, and thus early progression predicts poor prognosis.
A recent retrospective, exploratory analysis demonstrated the earlier the disease progression within the first 24 months (POD24), the higher the mortality risk, highlighting the need to identify patients at risk for early progression and who may benefit from first-line treatment that has demonstrated a relative risk reduction in early disease progression, such as obinutuzumab. These results represent important advances in the treatment of FL to reduce the rate of early disease progression. Disease and patient characteristics more commonly associated with higher POD24 have also been identified, which may assist in treatment planning.
The advent of an expanding treatment armamentarium for FL and the complexities surrounding treatment strategies make FL a highly preference-sensitive disease. Introducing shared decision-making (SDM) can facilitate communication among clinicians, patients, and caregivers and allows for treatment plans to be co-created with patient goals, preferences, and values at the center of care planning.
This activity aims to close key practice gaps and improve patient-physician communication by providing oncologists, hematologists, and other healthcare providers with education focused on the recent advances and critical concepts that affect outcomes, including survival, choice of therapy based on risk stratification, early disease progression, response criteria, and quality of life for their patients with FL.
A patient and clinician SDM support tool will be provided to help foster discussion and dialogue that will result in improved SDM among patients, clinicians, and caregivers that is reflective of their needs, desires, and perspectives.