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Blood. 2007 Jun 1;109(11):4930-5. Epub 2007 Feb 13.

Prognostic impact of immunohistochemically defined germinal center phenotype in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients treated with immunochemotherapy.

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Department of Oncology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, FIN-00029 Helsinki, Finland.


Germinal center (GC) and non-GC phenotypes are predictors of outcome in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and can be used to stratify chemotherapy-treated patients into low- and high-risk groups. To determine how combination of rituximab with chemotherapy influences GC-associated clinical outcome, GC and non-GC phenotypes were identified immunohistochemically from samples of 90 de novo DLBCL patients treated with rituximab in combination with CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone)-like regimen (immunochemotherapy). One hundred and four patients previously treated with chemotherapy served as a control group. Consistent with previous studies, chemotherapy-treated patients with immunohistochemically defined GC phenotype displayed a significantly better overall (OS) and failure-free survival (FFS) than the non-GC group (OS, 70% vs 47%, P = .012; FFS, 59% vs 30%, P = .001). In contrast, immunohistochemically defined GC phenotype did not predict outcome in immunochemotherapy-treated patients (OS, 77% vs 76%, P = ns; FFS, 68% vs 63%, P = ns). In comparison, International Prognostic Index (IPI) could separate the high-risk patients from low- and intermediate-risk groups (OS, 84% vs 63%, P = .030; FFS, 79% vs 52%, P = .028). We conclude that rituximab in combination with chemotherapy seems to eliminate the prognostic value of immunohistochemically defined GC- and non-GC phenotypes in DLBCL.

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