In a nutshell
This study examined the impact of aspartic transaminase (AST) levels in the blood on survival outcomes for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). This study concluded that high levels of AST in the blood were associated with poorer treatment outcomes for these patients.
DLBCL is one of the most common types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Every case of DLBCL is different. For example, cancer cells can have different features. How patients respond to treatment can also vary from one patient to another. This can make it difficult to predict patient outcomes.
One new approach to predicting prognosis involves measuring the levels of certain molecules in the body. These molecules are called biomarkers. However, this method often requires tissue samples. It can also be expensive for patients. Aspartic transaminase (AST) is one biomarker under investigation. AST is an enzyme made in the liver. High levels of AST in the blood have been associated with poorer outcomes for patients with breast cancer. Whether AST levels can predict outcomes for patients with DLBCL is unclear.
Methods & findings
This study had 179 patients with DLBCL. All patients received an average of 6 cycles of first-line chemotherapy. The level of AST enzyme in the blood was measured for all patients before treatment. Patients were followed-up for an average of 28 months.
Overall, 24.6% of all patients had high AST levels in the blood. Significantly fewer patients who had higher AST levels in the blood were still alive 2 years later compared to patients who had lower AST levels (49.2% vs. 81.1%).
Having high AST levels in the blood was significantly associated with certain risk factors. Significantly more patients with high AST levels had advanced (stage 3 – 4) disease (34 patients vs. 10 patients). More of these patients also had more tumors present outside the lymph nodes.
The bottom line
This study concluded that high levels of AST in the blood were associated with poorer treatment outcomes for patients with DLBCL. The authors suggest that more intensive first-line treatment may help improve outcomes for these patients.
The fine print
This was a small study. This study was also retrospective, meaning it looked back in time to analyze data. More studies are needed to confirm these results.
Published By :
Jun 08, 2019
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