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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2003 Oct;32(7):637-46.

What is CD4+CD56+ malignancy and how should it be treated?

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Medizinische Poliklinik, Universitaet Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany.


CD4+CD56+ malignancy is a rare neoplasm with a typical clinical pattern, an aggressive course and high early relapse rate despite good initial response to chemotherapy. In this review, the impact of different therapeutic approaches on clinical outcome has been studied. We evaluated 91 published cases and our own six patients in terms of clinical features, immunophenotype/cytogenetics and treatment outcome. Treatment was divided into four groups: (A) chemotherapy less intensive than CHOP; (B) CHOP and CHOP-like regimens; (C) therapy for acute leukemia; (D) allogeneic/autologous stem cell transplantation. The median overall survival was only 13 months for all patients. Patients with skin-restricted disease showed no difference in the overall survival from patients with advanced disease (17 and 12 months, respectively). Age >/=60 years was a negative prognostic factor. Age-adjusted analysis revealed improved survival after high-dose chemo/radiotherapy followed by allogeneic stem cell transplantation when performed in first complete remission. This therapeutic approach should be recommended for eligible patients with CD4+CD56+ malignancy. For older patients the best treatment option is still unknown.

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