Nooka AK, Nabhan C, Zhou X, Taylor MD, Byrtek M, Miller TP, Friedberg JW, Zelenetz AD, Link BK, Cerhan JR, Sinha R, Shenoy PJ, Levy D, Dawson K, Hirata JH, Flowers CR. Examination of the follicular lymphoma international prognostic index (FLIPI) in the National LymphoCare study (NLCS): a prospective US patient cohort treated predominantly in community practices. Ann Oncol. 2013 Feb 1;24(2):441-8.

BACKGROUND: Because follicular lymphoma (FL) patients have heterogeneous outcomes, the FL international prognostic index (FLIPI) was developed to risk-stratify patients and to predict survival. However, limited data exist regarding the role of FLIPI in the era of routine first-line rituximab (R) and R-chemotherapy regimens and in the setting of community oncology practices.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We evaluated the outcome data from the National LymphoCare Study (NLCS), a prospective, observational cohort study, which collects data on patients with FL in the United States (US) community practices.

RESULTS: Among 1068 male and 1124 female patients with FLIPI data, most were treated in US community practices (79%); 35% were FLIPI good risk, 30% intermediate risk, and 35% poor risk. FLIPI risk groups were significant predictors of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) for patients who undergo watchful waiting (WW), and those who receive non-R-containing regimens, R-alone, and R-chemotherapy combinations.

CONCLUSIONS: In the setting of contemporary practice with routine R use, stratifying patients into good, intermediate, and poor FLIPI risk groups predicts distinct outcomes in terms of OS and PFS. FLIPI remains an important prognostic index in the R era and should be used in clinical practices to support discussions about prognosis.

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