(HealthDay)—For patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), deferred therapy seems safe and is an independent predictor of overall survival, according to a study published online May 6 in Cancer.

Jonathon B. Cohen, M.D., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the role of deferred therapy in MCL in a cohort of 8,029 patients. Overall, 6 percent of the patients received deferred therapy (time from diagnosis to treatment >90 days; median time to treatment, 121 days).

The researchers found that patients who deferred therapy were more likely to have stage I or II disease and extranodal involvement; they were also less likely to have B symptoms. The likelihood of being treated at a high-volume teaching/research institution was increased for deferred patients, and they were more likely to reside in the Northeast or West region. For all patients with MCL, deferred therapy was an of overall survival. Predictors of improved overall survival among patients who deferred therapy included male sex, younger age, and a lack of comorbidities.

"Deferred therapy is a safe option for a subset of with MCL," the authors write. "Further study is required to better identify the best candidates for deferred therapy according to baseline risk stratification in MCL."