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Our Impact

Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL)

“Cycle for Survival donors and participants supported an essential study in the effort to provide better, more precise treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients. We’re so thankful for their important contribution.”
Craig H. Moskowitz, MD
Clinical Director, Division of Hematologic Oncology; Steven A. Greenberg Chair

Problem

Aggressive treatment is crucial to cure some patients, but it’s not vital for every patient. When all patients receive the same treatment, the people who don’t need aggressive therapy may unnecessarily endure the harmful side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

Number of new non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnoses in the U.S. each year:

Approximately 70,000 (source: National Cancer Institute)

Idea

Dr. Craig Moskowitz wanted to establish the precise amount of treatment needed for DLBCL patients so therapy is individually tailored. The goal was not to overtreat the patients expected to do well, and not to undertreat patients that had an unfavorable response to initial treatment.

How

In Dr. Moskowitz’s study, sophisticated imaging is used to evaluate how patients are responding to treatment, which determines how much medicine is necessary to destroy the cancer.

You should know:

  • Dr. Moskowitz’s study started in 2009 and about 105 patients have been enrolled.
  • FDG-PET imaging, a standard radiology study—as well as a new one, called FLT-PET—are taken after either a patient’s first or second treatment (at the two or four week mark).
  • The FDG-PET scan uses a radioactive drug to show abnormalities, and the results are the deciding factor in the treatment plan going forward.
  • DLBCL is actually several different diseases, which underscores the importance of creating risk-adapted therapy tailored to each patient.

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