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Ann Hematol. 2012 Dec;91(12):1907-15. doi: 10.1007/s00277-012-1536-9. Epub 2012 Aug 11.

Patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma in partial response or stable disease after first-line R-CHOP: the prognostic value of the absolute lymphocyte count and impact of autologous stem cell transplantation.

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Division of Haematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shih-Pai Road, Taipei, Taiwan 11217, Republic of China.


Certain portions of patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) do not achieve a complete remission after first-line rituximab combining chemotherapy. This retrospective study aimed to characterize the outcome of patients with DLBCL that achieved partial remission or had stable disease after first-line R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone). The effects of subsequent treatments and factors associated with event-free survival (EFS) after second-line treatments were analyzed. A total of 103 patients were enrolled and 81 (76.8 %) patients received intensive chemotherapy, whereas the others (23.2 %) received either palliative chemotherapy or supportive care post first-line treatment. Patients receiving intensive chemotherapy had significantly higher EFS (median 7.9 months) than the others; 28 (34.6 %) patients in this group received autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), which may have further improved the EFS. An International Prognostic Index (IPI) >2 and absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) at diagnosis <1,000/UL were significant prognostic factors associated with worse EFS. The survival advantage of ASCT remained significant after adjustment for these factors. The results suggest intensive chemotherapy plus ASCT may provide modest disease control in patients with DLBCL who achieve PR or SD to first-line R-CHOP, particularly in those with a higher IPI score and/or low ALC at diagnosis.

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