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Posted by on Apr 28, 2019 in Non-Hodgkin lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study aimed to investigate the prognostic role of red cell distribution width (RDW) in mantle cell lymphoma. This study concluded that RDW could be a prognostic factor in these patients.  

Some background

The red cell distribution width (RDW) is a measurement of the amount that red blood cells vary in size. It is reported as part of a standard complete blood cell count. A high RDW means that red blood cells vary a lot in size. A low RDW means that red blood cells vary very little in size. Both high and low RDW can cause different problems.  

RDW has been explored as a prognostic factor in multiple types of cancer. A prognostic factor is a variable that can be used to estimate the chance of recovery or relapse. 

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with poor outcomes. The role of RDW in MCL is unknown. 

Methods & findings

This study involved 76 patients with MCL. RDW was measured in all patients. Patients were followed up for an average of 22.6 months. 

27.6% of patients had an abnormally elevated RDW. Abnormally elevated RDW was significantly associated with certain signs and symptoms. These included the presence of B symptoms such as fever, night sweats, and weight loss. Other signs included elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH – indicates tissue damage). Higher leukocyte count (found in cancer), lower hemoglobin levels (anemia) and higher simplified Mantle Cell International Prognostic Index (sMIPI). This is used to assess risks in MCL. Abnormally elevated RDW was marginally associated with increased C-reactive protein (response to inflammation). 

High RDW predicted a 3.14 times higher risk of a shorter survival without cancer worsening. It also predicted a 4.04 times higher risk of a shorter overall survival.

The bottom line

This study concluded that RDW could be a prognostic factor in patients with MCL. 

The fine print

This study had a small number of participants. Further studies are needed.  

What’s next?

Published By :

Cancer Medicine

Date :

Apr 13, 2019

Original Title :

Association of red blood cell distribution width and outcomes in patients with mantle cell lymphoma.

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