Clinical studies in adult lymphomas with special emphasis on late effects of treatment

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Remote connection: https://oulu.zoom.us/j/62011927957

Topic of the dissertation

Clinical studies in adult lymphomas with special emphasis on late effects of treatment

Doctoral candidate

M.D. Roosa Prusila

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit

Subject of study

Oncology

Opponent

Professor Maija Itälä-Remes, Turku University Hospital

Custos

Professor Outi Kuittinen, Oulu University Hospital and University of Eastern Finland

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Late effects of treatments guide treatment decisions among lymphoma patients

This study showed that patients with indolent lymphoma have a greater risk of haematological malignancies after lymphoma treatments when compared to the general population. The risk was associated with multiple lines of treatment. Also, higher risk for some solid tumours was observed.

The use of less cardiotoxic chemotherapy was investigated among patients with aggressive lymphoma. This study showed that less cardiotoxic chemotherapy may be used in specific groups of patients without impairing their treatment results.

Lymphomas are a heterogenous group of malignancies arising from white blood cells. Approximately 1500 patients are diagnosed annually in Finland. Currently, there are almost 100 recognised lymphoma subtypes that may be divided into indolent and aggressive lymphomas. Indolent lymphomas are more chronic in nature and may be controlled by treatments that often need to be repeated. Aggressive lymphomas are potentially fully curable with effective treatment.

The addition of new antibody therapies with chemotherapy has significantly improved the treatment results of lymphomas. Thus, most patients using these therapies recover from the disease. However, chemotherapy used for treatment is also detrimental to healthy cells and may cause side effects such as heart failure or secondary cancer. These side effects may be very difficult and may even lead to death. Lymphoma patients are also often elderly, which increases their risk of adverse effects from treatment.

According to the findings in this study, patients with indolent lymphoma could benefit from treatments that prolong their disease-free time and, thus, reduce the need for repeat treatments. At the same time, the burden of repetitive treatments would be reduced. The use of less cardiotoxic chemotherapy still requires further investigations among lymphoma patients. In the future, when making new treatment guidelines, attention must be paid not only to treatment outcomes but also to adverse effects of treatment.
Last updated: 7.5.2020