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Welcome! Information for people with follicular lymphoma and their care partner

We wish to support you as you learn more about our clinical study for people with follicular lymphoma (FL). We can connect you with someone to answer your questions.

This site is produced with doctors who are experienced in lymphoma care.

Clinical studies search for better medical treatments. Better treatments are needed. This is especially so when lymphoma returns following treatment.

As I face the second part of this journey I realize I do not just want to survive - I want to thrive!

WHAT IS LYMPHOMA?

Lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.

Normally, lymphocyte cells are produced according to the body’s needs.

In lymphoma, cancer-causing processes produce lymphocytes uncontrollably. These lymphocytes have defects, which distinguish them from normal lymphocyte cells.

As lymphoma progresses over time, tumors may begin to form.

Fact Check:

There are many forms of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Follicular lymphoma (FL) accounts for 1 in 4 people with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

 

How can I tell if a treatment is working?
Follicular lymphoma is considered to be a slow-growing form of lymphoma. It is generally treated when it progresses.The symptoms of disease progression include a steady enlargement of lymph nodes, fever or sudden weight loss. A blood test may also indicate progression of the disease, and a need for treatment.

Treatment options become more limited if the disease returns following one or more previous treatments. Clinical studies seek better and safer treatments for people facing this situation.

Fact Check: Lymphocytes & lymphoma

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell, and normally help our immune system to fight infections. In lymphoma, cancer-causing processes disrupt the healthy activities of lymphocytes. These disruptive processes allow cells to divide uncontrollably and form tumours.

 

How does follicular lymphoma progress?
Once a diagnosis is made the medical team determines how far lymphoma has progressed.Initially, tumors can develop within lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin.

As lymphoma progresses, tumour cells may be found in both the chest and abdomen. The disease can extend to organs beyond the lymphatic system such as the liver, lung and the brain.

Fact Check: Advanced stages of lymphoma

Stage III – Tumour cells found in lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm, the muscular wall separating the chest from the abdomen
Stage IV – Widespread disease. Evidence of disease throughout the lymphatic system and in bone marrow, spleen, or the thymus located in the upper chest.

 

A PET scan (positron emission tomography) is made to determine the stage of lymphoma progression. A bone marrow biopsy is required to make a precise diagnosis.

This involves taking a small liquid sample of bone marrow from a region of the pelvis called the Iliac crest. Your study doctor will apply anaesthetic to numb the area where a special needle passes through the skin, and into the bone. People describe a brief period of moderate discomfort during the procedure.

A small liquid sample is then taken. Pressure is applied to the biopsy site for a few minutes and a sterile bandage or dressing is used to protect the site while it heals.

Fact Check: What are lymph nodes? What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is a group of organs and connected vessels including the bone marrow, spleen, the thymus located in the upper chest, and lymph nodes.
Lymph fluid pools together from the tiny spaces between cells throughout our entire body. The fluid carries lymphocytes, and other immune cells, whose task is to recognize infections.
Most lymph nodes are located in the neck, armpits and groin.

 

LYMPHOMA CARE

Roche is investigating a next-generation treatment for lymphoma. The treatment promotes the activation of the body’s own immune system to attack and kill cancer cells.

The standard therapy for people with follicular lymphoma is a combination of treatments. One such combination is known by the acronym R-CHOP. Other treatment combinations are also used.

Several different chemotherapy and biological therapy agents are included in the R-CHOP combination treatment. These agents are given to stop certain cells in the body from dividing to form new cells.

People participating in our clinical study will receive these standard therapies in combination with the new investigational treatment.

Fact Check:

The investigational treatment in this clinical study is a new class of disease-targeting antibody. It promotes the activation of the body’s own immune system to recognize and kill abnormal (tumour) B-cells.

 

Relapsed lymphoma, refractory lymphoma. What does this mean?
The medical term relapsed means that lymphoma returns following treatment. The term refractory can mean that a person receiving treatment for lymphoma is progressing and getting worse.Doctors also use the term refractory when treatment is not bringing any improvement.

When lymphoma returns, or when the side-effects of further treatment are too severe, further treatment options become limited.

Fact Check:

Doctors use the medical term treatment intolerant when side-effects are too severe to enable further treatment.

 

Clinical studies, such as the study described on this website, are designed to develop better treatments for people with relapsed or refractory lymphoma.

All people participating in this clinical study will receive the new investigational treatment, plus the standard treatment for follicular lymphoma.

Who can answer my questions about this clinical study?

Follow this link if you wish to discuss, one-to-one, this clinical study with a study nurse.

The study nurse can advise whether you may be eligible to participate in the clinical study.

The study nurse can also arrange for you to meet the rest of the study medical team. This experienced team can assess, on medical grounds, if you are eligible to participate in the study.

Who would provide my treatment?

People participating in this clinical study will receive part of their treatment at a hospital staffed with medical teams who specialize in lymphoma care. That team includes a study doctor responsible for your care.

Your study doctor monitors and follows your treatment throughout the clinical study. The study doctor is your point of contact if you have any concerns about your care.

Bring your questions to them. Your care partner and primary care doctor may also bring questions to the study doctor.

What should I ask my doctor?

We encourage you to discuss clinical studies with your doctor, and with others who can support you to make decisions about your care and treatment.

Thank you for your visit, and for bringing your questions to us. Let us know how we can support you, further, with information about lymphoma clinical studies.