Researchers create indicator for cancer treatment selection in older patients - The Brown Daily HeraldA team of Brown researchers is designing an assessment to improve the selection of cancer treatments in older patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

In their population-based study published Nov. 30, the researchers examined the impact of their assessment on treatment selections and outcomes in patients receiving home health care.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma “is an aggressive cancer of immune system cells” that has an average survival of months without treatment, wrote Thomas Ollila, assistant professor of medicine at the Alpert Medical School and hematologist/oncologist at the Lifespan Cancer Institute.

“Most commonly DLBCL is treated with a combination of immune therapy and chemotherapy and this can cure a substantial number of patients,” added Ollila, who was not involved in the study.

The average age at diagnosis is in the mid 60s,” so DLBCL patients often have comorbidities that render effective treatment more challenging.

These comorbidities correspond to a greater prevalence of chemotherapy complications in older patients, said first author of the study Mengyang Di, a clinical fellow of hematology/oncology at the Yale School of Medicine.

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