Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Prognostic impact of germinal center-associated proteins and chromosomal breakpoints in poor-risk diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

PMID 16943530


Outcome of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with a germinal center B-cell (GCB) expression profile is superior to that of non-GCB DLBCL. This conclusion is mainly derived from patients with mixed international prognostic index (IPI) risk profiles treated with CHOP-like therapy (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone). We wondered whether the prognostic impact of the expression profile would hold out in a homogeneous cohort of poor-risk DLBCL patients treated with high-dose sequential therapy (HDT) and autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) as first-line therapy. DLBCL from 66 newly diagnosed poor-risk patients, treated in two sequential prospective Dutch Hemato-Oncology Association (HOVON) trials, were studied retrospectively for expression of CD10, bcl6, MUM1/IRF4, bcl2, Ki67, and CD21+ follicular dendritic cells (FDC) by immunohistochemistry, and for the breakpoints of BCL2, BCL6, and MYC by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Lymphomas with any follicular component were excluded. A GCB immunophenotype profile was found in 58% and non-GCB immunophenotype profile in 42% of the tumors. Clinical characteristics of both groups were similar. Complete response (CR) rate was higher in patients with CD10+ tumors (58% v 30%; P = .03). A GCB immunophenotype profile, its constituting markers CD10 more than 30% and MUM1 less than 70%, and bcl2 less than 10% were each associated with a better overall survival (OS). FDC networks, equally present in GCB and non-GCB tumors, had superior CR (73% v 31%; P = .01), but disease-free survival rates were lower and there was no difference in OS rates. None of the breakpoints had a prognostic impact on outcome. Also in patients with poor-risk DLBCL treated with HDT and ASCT, the GCB immunophenotype and bcl2 expression retained a major impact on survival.