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J Korean Med Sci. 2006 Jun;21(3):397-405.

Prognostic evaluation of nodal diffuse large B cell lymphoma by immunohistochemical profiles with emphasis on CD138 expression as a poor prognostic factor.

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Department of Pathology, College of Medicine and Institute of Biomedical Science, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.


Recently diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCLs) was reported to be subdivided into germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) and activated B-cell-like (ABC) subgroups by using cDNA microarray and immunohistochemical markers. Tissue microarray blocks were created from 51 nodal DLBCLs with control tissue. Immunohistochemical staining for the above markers were performed. The median follow-up period was 26 months. Nodal DLBCLs were subclassified into GCB [CD10+ or CD10-/Bcl-6+/MUM1-, n=17 (33%)] and non-GC subgroups [CD10-/Bcl-6- or CD10-/Bcl-6+/MUM1+, n=35 (67%)], and were alternatively subclassified into pattern A [+ for GCB marker only, n=12 (23%)], B [Co-positive for both markers, n=13 (33%)], C [+ for activation marker only, n=18 (35%)], and D [- for both markers, n=9 (17%)]. Upon survival analysis, the GCB groups showed a relatively better survival than non-GC groups (p=0.0748). Also, pattern C (p=0.0055) and CD138+ (p=0.0008) patients had significantly lower survival rates. By multivariate analysis, CD138 expression alone was considered as an independent risk factor (p=0.031). In summary, our results add to the registration of prognostic implications for previously reported DLBCL subgroups. CD138 may play an important role as a poor prognostic marker. By using immunohistochemistry, a prognostically important subclassification of DLBCLs is possible.

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