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Posted by on Dec 13, 2018 in Hodgkin's lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study evaluated the impact of autoimmune conditions on the outcomes of patients with lymphoma. This study concluded that these conditions may negatively impact survival outcomes for these patients.

Some background

Autoimmune conditions are a group of diseases where the immune system attacks the body’s healthy tissues. One common autoimmune condition is rheumatoid arthritis. In this condition, the immune system attacks the joints, causing swelling and pain.  

Autoimmune conditions are a well-known risk factor for developing lymphoma, affecting about 10% of patients. These conditions have been associated with a 2 to 37-fold increased risk of developing lymphoma. However, the impact of autoimmune conditions on the outcomes of patients with lymphoma remains under investigation.

Methods & findings

This study involved 2417 patients with lymphoma. 736 patients had diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), 703 had follicular lymphoma (FL), 193 had mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), 302 had marginal zone lymphoma (MZL), 297 had Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) and 186 had T-cell lymphomas. Patients were followed-up for an average of 5.9 years. 

The occurrence of autoimmune conditions varied across lymphoma subtypes. Patients with MZL had the highest rate of autoimmune conditions (18.2%). This rate was 12.2% (DLBCL), 10.4% (MCL), and 9.1% (FL).  

Autoimmune conditions were more common in patients with MZL (18.2%), DLBCL (12.2%), T-cell lymphoma (11.9%). They were less common in MCL (10.4%), FL (9.1%) and HL (7.4%). The most common autoimmune condition was rheumatoid arthritis. This condition was most common in patients with MZL (7.6%), followed by DLBCL (7.2%), FL (4.8%) and MCL (4.7%). It was less common in HL (3%) and T-cell lymphoma (3.6%). 

Overall, a history of autoimmune conditions was not associated with worse survival in all patients with lymphoma or by subtypes. However, in patients with HL, having an autoimmune condition was associated with a 2.73-times higher risk of cancer recurrence or disease progression (tumor growth or spread). Mortality risk was also increased in these patients by 3.05-fold. These risks mostly involved rheumatoid arthritis.

The bottom line

This study concluded that autoimmune conditions may negatively impact outcomes for patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma, particularly rheumatoid arthritis.

The fine print

Autoimmune conditions were self-reported by patients. This information was verified using medical records. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results and further determine the role of autoimmune conditions in the development of lymphomas. 

Published By :

Blood cancer journal

Date :

Aug 01, 2018

Original Title :

History of autoimmune conditions and lymphoma prognosis.

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