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Haematologica. 2011 Jul;96(7):996-1001. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2010.037408. Epub 2011 May 5.

High microvessel density determines a poor outcome in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated with rituximab plus chemotherapy.

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Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.



Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is a clinically and molecularly heterogeneous disease. Gene expression profiling studies have shown that the tumor microenvironment affects survival and that the angiogenesis-related signature is prognostically unfavorable. The contribution of histopathological microvessel density to survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas treated with immunochemotherapy remains unknown. The purpose of this study is to assess the prognostic impact of histopathological microvessel density in two independent series of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated with immunochemotherapy.


One hundred and forty-seven patients from the Leukemia Lymphoma Molecular Profiling Project (training series) and 118 patients from the Catalan Lymphoma-Study group-GELCAB (validation cohort) were included in the study. Microvessels were immunostained with CD31 and quantified with a computerized image analysis system. The stromal scores previously defined in 110 Leukemia Lymphoma Molecular Profiling Project cases were used to analyze correlations with microvessel density data.


Microvessel density significantly correlated with the stromal score (r=0.3209; P<0.001). Patients with high microvessel density showed significantly poorer overall survival than those with low microvessel density both in the training series (4-year OS 54% vs. 78%; P=0.004) and in the validation cohort (57% vs. 81%; P=0.006). In multivariate analysis, in both groups high microvessel density was a statistically significant unfavorable prognostic factor independent of international prognostic index [training series: international prognostic index (relative risk 2.7; P=0.003); microvessel density (relative risk 1.96; P=0.002); validation cohort: international prognostic index (relative risk 4.74; P<0.001); microvessel density (relative risk 2.4; P=0.016)].


These findings highlight the impact of angiogenesis in the outcome of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and the interest of evaluating antiangiogenic drugs in clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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