Lymphoma is cancer that occurs in a type of white blood cell called a lymphocyte. Follicular Lymphoma Stage 4 is the result of metastasis of cancer cells outside of the lymphatic system, such as the spinal cord, lungs, or liver.
There are many randomized studies showing the advantage of adding Rituximab, to the initial chemotherapy treatment, for the overall survival of advanced stage patients with Follicular Lymphoma Stage 4.
Follicular Lymphoma Stage 4 Symptoms
Lymphoma is a term people use to describe cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. There are two main types of lymphoma:
- Hodgkin lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma – Follicular lymphoma belongs to this type
Hodgkin lymphoma is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. These cells are mature B-type immune cells that become cancerous.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, unlike Hodgkin lymphoma, can come from B-type or T-type immune cells. It can also occur in other organs, outside the lymph nodes, such as the stomach, intestines, and skin.
In stage 4, the disease has spread to organs such as the liver, bone marrow, or lungs. Systemic symptoms are fever, night sweats, and weight loss. When the disease spreads from the lymph node to an organ, or when the disease involves a single organ other than the lymphatic system, it is considered to be stage 4.
While more than 90% of patients fully recover in the early stage, this rate is between 60-80% in an advanced stage patient. For this reason, precise staging is done first, and then the lymphoma treatment is planned according to the stage of the disease.
Follicular lymphoma symptoms include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, belly, or groin
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent fever and night sweats
- Weight loss
However, some people with follicular lymphoma may not have any of these symptoms.
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Follicular Lymphoma Treatment
In general, follicular lymphoma follows an indolent course and most patients are asymptomatic. Therefore, the majority of patients are diagnosed at advanced stage (Stage III and Stage IV).
The age of the patient and the possibility of additional diseases are other factors that may affect the treatment decision. Follicular Lymphoma Stage 4 treatment is based on several variables.
When deciding on the treatment, the clinical characteristics of the patient such as age, tumor stage, lymph node regions involved, Hb, and LDH levels are considered. Also, the physical characteristics of the tumor such as tumor size, and growth rate effect the overall decision.
The kind of treatment depends on the purpose of the treatment, the side effects, the general condition of the patient, any additional diseases, and the drugs used.
Clinical research for follicular lymphoma has led to observed positive changes in the course of the disease. Immunotherapeutic and targeted agent studies for follicular lymphoma patients continue under experimental names such as “R2, R-CHOP, Obinutuzumab chemotherapy, and Ibrutinib-rituximab”.
Massive Bio can help you understand if you are suitable for targeted therapies, immunotherapy and other clinical trials. Regardless of your geographic location or past medical history, you can participate in a clinical trial that is reviewed and decided by experts, tailored to your specific cancer type, biomarkers, and needs.