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Neoplasma. 1998;45(5):332-5.

Prognostic relevance of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas cell cycle data.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Split Health Center, Croatia.


Determination of proliferative activity of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL), aimed at improving the prediction of their clinical behavior, has gained considerable attention in the recent years. Flow cytometry has allowed rapid measurement of the cellular DNA content in terms of ploidy and proliferative activity. Flow cytometric DNA analysis was performed on paraffin embedded biopsy specimens taken from 125 patients with NHL. In 90 of them, proliferative index (PI) could be accurately measured and correlated with histology grade of the Working Formulation (WF). Intermediate and high grade NHL (54 patients) were analyzed together as HG-NHL. With the discrimination point for PI of 10%, the survival of high and low proliferative lymphomas was compared in the whole NHL group and within the WF prognostic groups. The median PI was 5% in LG (low grade) NHL and 10% in HG (high grade) NHL group. Acturial survival in NHL with high proliferative activity (39 patients) was 31% at 5 years and 15% at 10 years, and in NHL with low proliferative activity (51 patients) 53% and 18%, respectively (p = 0.002). In HG-NHL, survival at 5 years for low proliferative cases was 55% and for high proliferative cases 28% (p = 0.065), whereas in the LG-NHL group it was 54% and 28%, respectively (p = 0.059). The survival at 10 years was nearly equal in all groups. Proliferative index was associated with the overall survival of NHL in the whole group, as well as within the LG and HG prognostic categories. PI could differentiate more and less aggressive NHLs both within LG-NHL and HG-NHL. A tendency of survival curves toward continuous relapse was observed in low proliferative NHL and a tendency toward "plateau" in high proliferative NHL, irrespective of the histology grade.

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