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J Clin Oncol. 1997 Apr;15(4):1654-63.

Follicular large-cell lymphoma treated with intensive chemotherapy: an analysis of 89 cases included in the LNH87 trial and comparison with the outcome of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Groupe d'Etude des Lymphomes de l'Adulte.

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  • 1Services d'Anatomie et Cytologie Pathologiques, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Pessac, France.



The aims of this study were as follows: (1) to analyze clinical, histopathologic characteristics, treatment outcome, and prognostic factors of patients with follicular large-cell lymphoma (FLCL); and (2) to compare them with those of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLCL) treated in the same therapeutic trial.


Eighty-nine FLCL patients who were histologically reviewed and who received an intensive chemotherapy regimen according to the LNH 87 protocol were analyzed and compared with 1,096 B-cell DLCL patients included in the same protocol.


After intensive induction treatment, 59 patients (67%) achieved a complete remission [CR]. Estimated 5-year survival was 59%, and estimated 5-year freedom from progression (FFP) was 39%. Prognostic factors associated with shorter FFP were age greater than 60 years (P = .02), advanced clinical stage (P = .01), abnormal lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) level (P = .02), abnormal beta-2 microglobulin (P = .02), B symptoms (P = .03), bone marrow involvement (P = .04), and high expression of bcl-2 protein (P = .05). When compared with B-cell DLCL patients, FLCL patients were younger (P = .02), had a better Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) status (P = .05), less bulky mass (P = .04), more advanced clinical stages (P < .001), and more bone marrow involvement (P = .02). No significant difference was observed between FLCL and DLCL patients for response to therapy (67% v 67% of CR), 5-year overall survival (58% v 51%), 5-year disease-free survival (53% v 57%), or FFP survival (39% v 43%).


FLCL patients have a favorable response rate and survival when treated with intensive chemotherapy. Their outcome is similar to that of B-cell DLCL patients, and a long-term FFP is observed for a substantial number of patients. Some adverse prognostic factors (including those of the International Prognostic Index, bone marrow involvement, and beta-2 microglobulin) have been identified to define a subset of patients who require other therapeutic approach.

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