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Researchers at the Mayo Clinic and University of Iowa observed that after surviving an aggressive lymphoma, patients experienced an increased quality of life (QOL) that was higher than in the general population. These findings were presented during the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 62nd Annual Meeting and Exposition.

Patients (N=2018) were recruited within 9 months of a diagnosis of lymphoma between 2002 and 2015. QOL was measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) comprising physical, functional, social/family, and emotional components at baseline and at 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 years after surviving their diagnosis. Patient retention was 1144 at 1 year, 1002 at 2 years, 943 at 3 years, 562 at 6 years, and 289 at 9 years. FACT-G responses from a random sample of 1400 people who were demographically matched to the population in the United States were used for comparison.

Median patient age at baseline was 59 years (range, 18 to 93) and 42% were women. Diagnoses for the patients were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (44%), Hodgkin lymphoma (19%), T-cell lymphoma (11%), composite lymphoma (8%), other non-Hodgkin lymphoma (7%), other B-cell lymphoma (86%), and follicular lymphoma grade 3 (5%).

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At baseline, patients with aggressive lymphomas had reduced physical, emotional, and functional well-being subscores compared with the general population in the United States (P <.01).

The total QOL score increased most during the first year following diagnosis (difference, 6.7 points). The increase in QOL total score was sustained through 9 years and was on average 7.8 points higher than the baseline.

At 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 years, survivors’ social/family well-being subscores remained significantly higher compared with the general population (P <.01).

This study may have been biased by its low retention rate; however, the focus of this work was QOL among survivors not in active treatment. Patients who experienced a relapse were removed from the follow up.

The study authors concluded that surviving an aggressive lymphoma increased QOL, and was sustained long-term.

Robert M. Kraft, MD, coauthor of this study, thought these results were encouraging, stating, “This study really does show that patients may have a different perception on life should they survive their illness and treatment. It’s encouraging to tell patients who are being diagnosed and facing treatment that there is data to support a better quality of life given time.”

Disclosure: Multiple authors declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures.


Kraft RM, Larson MC, Yost KJ, et al. Quality of life after diagnosis in survivors of aggressive lymphomas. Presented at: American Society of Hematology (ASH) 62nd Annual Meeting and Exposition; December 5-8, 2020. Abstr 371.