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Blood. 2007 Aug 1;110(3):972-8. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

The impact of Epstein-Barr virus status on clinical outcome in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50 Ilwon-dong Kangnam-ku, Seoul 135-710, Korea.


To define prognostic impact of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), we investigated EBV status in patients with DLBCL. In all, 380 slides from paraffin-embedded tissue were available for analysis by EBV-encoded RNA-1 (EBER) in situ hybridization, and 34 cases (9.0%) were identified as EBER-positive. EBER positivity was significantly associated with age greater than 60 years (P = .005), more advanced stage (P < .001), more than one extranodal involvement (P = .009), higher International Prognostic Index (IPI) risk group (P = .015), presence of B symptom (P = .004), and poorer outcome to initial treatment (P = .006). The EBER(+) patients with DLBCL demonstrated substantially poorer overall survival (EBER(+) vs EBER(-) 35.8 months [95% confidence interval (CI), 0-114.1 months] vs not reached, P = .026) and progression-free survival (EBER(+) vs EBER(-) 12.8 months [95% CI, 0-31.8 months] vs 35.8 months [95% CI, 0-114.1 months], respectively (P = .018). In nongerminal center B-cell-like subtype, EBER in situ hybridization positivity retained its statistical significance at the multivariate level (P = .045). Nongerminal center B-cell-like patients with DLBCL with EBER positivity showed substantially poorer overall survival with 2.9-fold (95% CI, 1.1-8.1) risk for death. Taken together, DLBCL patients with EBER in situ hybridization+ pursued more rapidly deteriorating clinical course with poorer treatment response, survival, and progression-free survival.

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