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Korean J Intern Med. 2015 Sep;30(5):684-93. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2015.30.5.684. Epub 2015 Aug 27.

Clinical characteristics and outcomes in diffuse large B cell lymphoma patients aged 70 years and older: a single-center experience with a literature review.

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Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Yeouido St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.



Among diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients, determining the appropriate dose and chemotherapy schedule to balance toxicity and efficacy is harder in elderly than in younger patients. Moreover, there are no currently available clinical factors that consistently identify patients who are unfit to receive chemotherapy. Therefore, the clinical characteristics and outcomes of elderly patients with DLBCL and the causes of treatment-related death were investigated in this study.


The clinical characteristics and outcomes of 44 elderly (≥ 70 years of age) patients diagnosed with DLBCL between January 2005 and June 2013 were evaluated. Variable clinical data along with the response rate, overall survival (OS), and causes of treatment-related death or treatment interruption were investigated.


The median OS was 18.6 months, and 19 patients completed curative treatment. The mean average relative dose intensity of adriamycin in patients who completed chemotherapy was 0.617, and of these patients, 16 achieved complete remission. Chemotherapy incompletion, infectious complications, ex tranoda l involvement, high lactate dehydrogenase, poor performance status, and low albumin level at diagnosis were related to a shorter OS. However, multivariate analysis revealed that only infections and chemotherapy incompletion were significantly related to poor prognosis. The most common cause of treatment-related death was infection, and patients who had experienced infectious complications tended to have lower albumin levels than those of patients without such complications.


In the treatment of elderly lymphoma patients, the dose intensity of adriamycin is not as important as it is in young patients. However, in elderly patients, infections are particularly dangerous, especially in patients with low albumin levels.


Aged; Albumins; Infection; Lymphoma, large B-cell, diffuse

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