Novel agents for relapsed and refractory follicular lymphoma

Cheah CY, Fowler NH

Follicular lymphoma is one of the most common non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. Although current frontline regimens are associated with high response rates, most patients still relapse. When progression is discovered, re-establishing the diagnosis and ruling out transformation in paramount. The outcomes following relapse have been improving due to the activity and increasing availability of novel agents with various mechanisms of action. Despite these advances, single agent activity is limited and the disease remains incurable in the majority of cases. Examples of drug classes with promising activity in relapsed disease include anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies, immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors, bcl2 inhibitors, epigenetic modifiers, conjugated antibodies, and checkpoint inhibitors. Many drugs in each class are associated with unique, variable and often surprising toxicity profiles. Combination studies are currently underway with novel-novel combinations and with traditional chemotherapy regimens. This overview will discuss the results of several recent studies exploring activity of novel drugs in relapsed follicular lymphoma.

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