Edward A. Faber Jr. and Julie M. Vose
Substantial progress has been made in the clinical management of patients with follicular lymphoma over the past 2 decades. However, the role of autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation in these patients remains controversial. Myeloablative chemotherapy or radioimmunotherapy supported by autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation has been shown to lead to a longer progression-free survival and, in some studies, improved survival over standard therapy. However, in the era of rituximab-based therapies used as part of induction or salvage, these historical trials may not be representative. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation offers the advantages of a tumor-free graft and some immunologic graft-versus-lymphoma effects. However, fully myeloablative transplants have high morbidity and mortality rates. Dose-reduced conditioning regimens followed by allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation have substantially reduced treatment-related mortality and perhaps will produce better outcomes long-term. This article outlines some historical information regarding stem cell transplantation for follicular lymphoma and discusses recent modifications that may improve outcomes, such as adding radioimmunotherapy to autologous stem cell transplantation or using alternative dose-reduced regimens that could benefit patients with reduced toxicities.
Philip E. Johnson, George Dahlman, Kirby Eng, Rekha Garg, Scott Gottlieb, James M. Hoffman, Peyton Howell, Mohammad Jahanzeb, Shirley Johnson, Emily Mackler, Mark Rubino, Brenda Sarokhan, F. Marc Stewart, Tim Tyler, Julie M. Vose, Sharon Weinstein, Edward C. Li, and Jessica DeMartino
REMS are a particularly important issue for oncology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). A disproportionate number of drugs with complex REMS are used in patients with cancer or hematologic disorders. REMS policies and processes within oncology may act as a model for other clinical areas. A breadth of experience and access to a wide knowledge base exists within oncology that will ensure appropriate development and consideration of the practical implications of REMS. NCCN is uniquely positioned to assume a leadership role in this process given its status as the arbiter of high-quality cancer care based on its world-leading institutions and clinicians. Notwithstanding the potential benefits, the successful design, implementation, and analysis of the FDA's recent requirement for REMS for some high-risk drugs and biologics will present significant challenges for stakeholders, including patients, providers, cancer centers, manufacturers, payors, health information technology vendors, and regulatory agencies. To provide guidance to these stakeholders regarding REMS challenges, the NCCN assembled a work group comprised of thought leaders from NCCN Member Institutions and other outside experts. The Work Group identified challenges across the REMS spectrum, including the areas of standardization, development and assessment of REMS programs, medication guides, provider knowledge and impact on prescribing, provider burden and compensation, and incorporation of REMS into clinical practice.