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Clinical trials enrolling follicular lymphoma (FL) patients typically require bone marrow biopsies (BMBs) at baseline and at a subsequent point if complete response is achieved. These procedures are painful, take time and add cost. We hypothesized that BMBs do not provide information significant for response assessment in most follicular lymphoma patients on clinical trials. We identified 99 patients treated on clinical trials for follicular lymphoma between 2000 and 2016. BMBs resulted in a possible response assessment change in 1·0% of patients (95% confidence interval: 0·0-5·5%). We conclude that mandatory BMBs at baseline and for response assessment are unnecessary in clinical trials for follicular lymphoma.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





242 - 245


bone marrow biopsies, clinical trials, follicular lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, response criteria, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biopsy, Bone Marrow, Clinical Trials as Topic, Female, Humans, Lymphoma, Follicular, Male, Middle Aged