Treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in elderly patients

Roberto Bordonaro, Lucia Fratino, Diego Serraino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The roles of evolving treatment strategies for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) in elderly patients are still not well defined and their effects on the overall epidemiology of the disease are still not clear. Three questions arise when discussing the management of NHL in elderly patients. First, should older patients be treated with the same regimens usually administered to younger patients? Second, are health outcomes of elderly patients similar to those usually observed in young patients, particularly response rate and overall survival? Third, which strategies should be adopted to improve overall health outcomes? Periodic review of the literature and updated data on the management of NHL in elderly patients may provide an answer to all these queries. In essence, older patients must be treated with the same intensive approaches that are usually reserved for younger patients. The results reported in randomized controlled clinical trials are consistent with the capability of older patients to exhibit overall response rate, event-free survival, and overall survival similar to those observed in their younger counterparts. Combining chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies seems to be the main optional strategy for better outcomes in elderly patients. In contrast, knowledge concerning the management of indolent lymphomas in elderly patients is still lacking, and available clinical data are limited in this setting, especially in patients with poor prognostic factors who may need an immediate therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Lymphoma
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • Chemotherapy
  • Prognostic factors
  • Quality of life
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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