Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Double-hit Lymphomas Constitute a Highly Aggressive Subgroup in Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphomas in the Era of Rituximab.

Double-hit Lymphomas Constitute a Highly Aggressive Subgroup in Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphomas in the Era of Rituximab.

Sept 2012


1Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto.



The incorporation of rituximab in immunochemotherapy has improved treatment outcomes for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, but the prognosis for some diffuse large B-cell lymphomas remains dismal. Identification of adverse prognostic subgroups is essential for the choice of appropriate therapeutic strategy.


We retrospectively investigated the impact of so-called 'double-hit' cytogenetic abnormalities, i.e. cytogenetic abnormalities involving c-MYC co-existing with other poor prognostic cytogenetic abnormalities involving BCL2, BCL6 or BACH2, on treatment outcomes for 93 consecutive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients.


According to the revised international prognostic index, no patients were cytogenetically diagnosed with double-hit lymphomas in the 'very good' risk group or in the 'good' risk group, while 5 of 33 patients had double-hit lymphomas in the 'poor' risk group. All the double-hit lymphoma patients possessed both nodal and extranodal involvement. The overall complete response rate was 89.3%, overall survival 87.1% and progression-free survival 75.8% over 2 years (median observation period: 644 days). The complete response rates were 93.2% for the non-double-hit lymphoma patients and 40.0% for the double-hit lymphoma patients. Significantly longer progression-free survival and overall survival were observed for the 'very good' and the 'good' risk patients than for the 'poor' risk patients. Moreover, the progression-free survival of double-hitlymphoma was significantly shorter than that of the non-double-hit lymphoma 'poor' risk patients (P = 0.016). In addition, the overall survival of the double-hit lymphoma patients also tended to be shorter than that of the non-double-hit lymphoma 'poor' risk group.


The diagnosis of double-hit lymphoma can help discriminate a subgroup of highly aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphomas and indicate the need for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for double-hit lymphoma.

No comments: