Abstract 2710

Introduction Recent refinement in B-cell lymphoma classification by the WHO in 2008 has defined an entity that exists in the gray zone between diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma (BL). Varying in morphology, immunohistochemical, or genetic features, B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between DLBCL and BL (Intermediate DLBCL/BL) has been reported to have a poor clinical outcome. We aim to describe the clinical factors affecting outcomes and compare therapy response in a representative population.

Methods A retrospective search of the Nebraska Lymphoma Study Group Registry from 1983–2009 meeting the diagnostic criteria for Intermediate DLBCL/BL yielded clinical data at presentation, follow-up, and treatment information. Treatments were grouped as CHOP-like +/− Rituximab (R) vs. intensive regimens (e.g. CODOX-M +/− R, R-EPOCH). Diagnostic slides were re-reviewed to verify the diagnosis. Probabilities of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were approximated using Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional regression analysis was used to evaluate the clinical variables associated with risk of treatment-failure and death.

Results Our cohort of 63 patients had a median age of 69 (19–93), male sex in 49%, a Karnofsky performance status of at least 80 at time of diagnosis in 73%, an elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in 62%, and stage IV disease in 46%. International Prognostic Index (IPI) scores were low in 38%, low-intermediate in 27%, high-intermediate in 24% and high in 11%. The probability of PFS at 5 and 10 years was 25% (95% CI 15–37%) and 10% (95% CI 4–21%) respectively, with a median time to treatment-failure of only 5.7 months. The 5 and 10 year probability of OS was 32% (95% CI 21–44%) and 20% (95% CI 10–32%) respectively, with a median survival of 10.4 months. Univariate regression analysis showed the following factors to be associated with an increased risk for treatment-failure: Ann Arbor stage IV disease (HR 2.49, 95% CI 1.33–4.68); elevated LDH (HR 1.85, 95% CI 1.02–3.37) and having at least 2 extra-nodal sites (HR 2.12, 95% CI 1.12–4.04). The following factors were associated with an increased risk of death: elevated LDH (HR 2.03, 95% CI 1.08–3.81), stage IV disease (HR 1.88, 95% CI 1.00–3.45), and having at least 2 extra-nodal sites (HR 2.26, 95% CI 1.15–4.40). The IPI scores of low-intermediate, high-intermediate, and high risk were associated with treatment-failure (HR 2.01, 95% CI 1.00–4.11; 4.62, 95% CI 2.11–10.14; 6.11, 95% CI 2.31–16.17) respectively, and death (HR 2.57, 95% CI 1.23–5.37; 3.13, 95% CI 1.41–6.94; 8.30, 95% CI 3.07–22.43) respectively. The median OS of patients who received CHOP/CHOP-like regimens +/− R was 8.7 months, whereas those who received a more intensive regimen +/− R was 45 months (p=0.38). The median PFS was 5.4 months for CHOP/CHOP-like regimens +/− R and 52.3 months for a more intensive regimen (p=0.08) (Fig.1).
Figure 1.

Progression free survival intensive versus CHOP/CHOP-like regimens +/− Rituximab, p=0.08

Figure 1.

Progression free survival intensive versus CHOP/CHOP-like regimens +/− Rituximab, p=0.08

Summary Our analysis confirmed poor clinical outcome with stage IV disease, elevated serum LDH, at least 2 extra-nodal sites at presentation, or worse IPI score. There was a better outcome with intensive chemotherapy regimens. This study underscores the importance of early identification and proper treatment choice.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.