Dr. Balzarotti on the Challenges of Treating Elderly DLBCL

Supplements And Featured Publications, Year in Review: Updates in DLBCL Treatment, Volume 1, Issue 1

Monica Balzarotti, MD, discusses the challenges of treating elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Monica Balzarotti, MD, a hematologist, Department of Hematology within the Institute for Research, Hospitalization, and Health Care (IRCCS) Humanitas Research Hospital, in Milan, Italy, discusses the challenges of treating elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

Apart from autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), which is not curative, the field has several therapies available, many of which are utilized within a subgroup of patients who are not suitable for ASCT, says Balzarotti. The majority of patients with DLBCL are not eligible for ASCT, as it primarily affects the elderly. Oftentimes, elderly patients do not receive an optimal treatment in the first-line setting. 

Sometimes these patients receive a reduced dose of rituximab (Rituxan), cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone and then relapse, or they have a comorbidity that does not allow them to receive full-dose chemotherapy, concludes Balzarotti.