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  • Author: Arnold S. Freedman x
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Caron A. Jacobson and Arnold S. Freedman

Given the incurable yet indolent nature of follicular lymphoma (FL) and the lack of a survival benefit seen with the early treatment of patients with a low tumor burden, watchful waiting has been the predominant strategy for treating asymptomatic patients with newly diagnosed FL for more than 2 decades. The success and tolerability of rituximab for the treatment of this disease, however, has led to challenges for this treatment paradigm and the consideration of early upfront treatment with rituximab monotherapy, with or without rituximab maintenance. These strategies have resulted in improvements in quality of life with a low incidence of toxicity and have led some to practice changes. However, based on uncertainty about how early treatment affects response to second treatment, the differential cost of treatment, and the lack of a survival benefit, observation remains an appropriate and viable strategy for select patients.