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Posted by on Jan 26, 2018 in Non-Hodgkin lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study analyzed the outcomes of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who are positive for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV+) or are immunosuppressed (weakened immune system caused by anticancer treatment). The study concluded that these conditions do not impact lymphoma outcomes.

Some background

Rates of EBV+ DLBCL (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma that is positive for Epstein-Barr virus) varies throughout the world, occurring in 2 to 12% of Asian or Latin patients and in 4% of patients in Western countries. Previous research suggests that EBV+ DLBCL is associated with a worse clinical prognosis in these patients. However, outcomes for Western patients remain uncertain. 

Methods & findings

The current study investigated overall survival and event-free survival rates for North American DLBCL patients that were EBV+ or immunosuppressed.

This study involved 362 patients with DLBCL at various stages (144 at stages 1 or 2, and 215 at stages 3 or 4). 81% of patients were older than 50. 4.4% of patients were EBV+ and 10.8% had a history of immunosuppression. The average follow-up period was 59 months.

The average overall survival (time from diagnosis until death from any cause) rate was 129 months for EBV+ patients and 143 months for EBV- patients. The average event-free survival (time from diagnosis without a treatment-related complication) rate was 129 months for EBV+ patients and 138 months for EBV- patients. 81% of EBV+ patients and 71% of EBV- patients reached 24 months without an event (treatment-related complication). None of these differences were statistically significant.

The average overall survival rate was 129 months for immunosuppressed (IS, weakened immune system) patients and 143 months for immunocompetent (IC, healthy immune system) patients. No difference in risk of death was found. The average event-free survival rate was 103 months for IS patients and 138 months for IC patients. 71% of IS patients and 74% of IC patients reached 24 months without an event (treatment-related complication).

The bottom line

This study concluded that neither an EBV positive status nor a history of immunosuppression impact DLBCL (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma) outcomes among North American patients.

The fine print

The current study analyzed 362 patients from the larger MER Cohort Study (1,081 patients total). Of these, the number of EBV+ patients was low, so this study is not conclusive. More studies in EBV+ or immunosuppressed DLBCL patients are needed to verify the results.

Published By :


Date :

Nov 23, 2017

Original Title :

Outcomes among US patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma are independent of tumor Epstein Barr virus positivity or immunosuppression.

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