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J Clin Oncol. 1999 Sep;17(9):2847-53.

Immunocytoma: a retrospective analysis from St Bartholomew's Hospital-1972 to 1996.

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  • 1Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) Department of Medical Oncology, Departments of Histopathology and Haematology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, West Smithfield, London, UK.



To analyze the presentation features and outcome for patients with immunocytoma (IMC) managed at St Bartholomew's Hospital (SBH), London, United Kingdom, between 1972 and 1996. Outcome was compared with that of patients with small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)/B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) treated at SBH during the same period.


One hundred twenty-six patients with newly diagnosed IMC were identified. Patients were subclassified (using the Kiel classification) as having lymphoplasmacytoid (n =92), lymphoplasmacytic (n = 24), polymorphous (n = 9), or undetermined (n = 1) IMC. Six patients (5%) had stage I to IIE disease; the rest had advanced disease. Treatment was given according to disease stage. Seven patients were managed expectantly.


Eighty-two (69%) of 119 patients responded to treatment, but complete remission was seen in only 15 (13%) of 119. Treatment failed in 29 (24%) of 119 patients. There were three treatment-related deaths; five patients were not assessable for response. When survival of patients with IMC was compared with that of patients with B-CLL/SLL, a significant difference was found (P <. 01); this difference was maintained when only patients in whom the diagnosis was based on lymph node biopsy were considered (P =.01). A comparison of the three IMC subgroups showed that there was a trend (P =.06) toward a difference between B-CLL/SLL and the lymphoplasmacytoid subtype.


Patients diagnosed with IMC are generally older and present with advanced disease. Conventional therapies usually result in incomplete responses of short duration. Overall, these results support the proposed World Health Organization reclassification of IMC to include lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma (Kiel classification) as a variant of B-CLL/SLL.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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