Abstract

Abstract 2686

Background:

DLBCL is the most commonly occurring form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is a highly curable disease, but one that is universally fatal if untreated or improperly treated. In a series of studies, we have reported racial disparities in the clinical presentation and the treatment outcomes for patients (pts) with DLBCL in the United States (Shenoy Cancer 2010; Flowers CEBP 2012). These studies showed that black pts with DLBCL are diagnosed at an age a decade younger than whites, are more likely to have advanced stage disease, and are less likely to survive 5 years. One explanation is that black patients in the US less often receive standard of care therapy (Flowers CEBP 2012). However, in a cohort study of 533 white and 144 black patients with DLBCL managed at Emory and University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) black race predicted worse overall survival (OS) even when black and white pts received the same therapy (CHOP; Hazard ratio [HR] 1.8, p<0.001) suggesting a biological basis for some disparities(Flowers Leuk Lymph 2012). To address these findings, we examined whether known prognostic biological variants within DLBCL [germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) and activated B-cell like (ABC)] occurred differentially between black and white pts.

Methods:

DLBCL pts within our Emory-UAB cohort study provided formalin fixed material available for construction of tissue microarrays (TMAs). All pts were diagnosed with DLBCL from 1990–2010 and met the following criteria: age ≥18 years at diagnosis and available information on demographics, race, gender, initial clinical features at presentation, treatment, and treatment outcomes. H&E slides from each block for each case were reviewed to identify the appropriate zone(s) for cores. Sections placed in TMAs underwent immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining with BCL6, GCET1, CD10, FOXP1, and LMO2 antibodies. The percentages of positive cells were scored in 10% increments for each antibody, and recorded for each case by 3 hematopathologists blinded to the clinical and demographic data. The Choi algorithm was used to classify all patients into ABC and GCB subsets; other IHC algorithms were used as a backup. Descriptive statistics for the baseline characteristics of black and white pts were compared using Chi-square tests. Kaplan–Meier estimation was used to evaluate OS for the two groups and compared with the log-rank test. To evaluate prognostic factors and the effects of treatment on OS, Cox proportional hazards models were used controlling for age, sex, stage, LDH, performance status, presence of B-symptoms, race, treatment (R-CHOP vs. other), and ABC subtype.

Results:

Tissues for 26 black pts and 63 white pts meeting all eligibility criteria were evaluated in the TMA. There were significant differences in baseline characteristics between the two groups; 23% of black pts vs. 46% of whites were > 60 years of age (p=0.04), 73% had stage III/IV disease vs. 56% (p=0.03), and 77% had an LDH>ULN vs. 51% (p=0.04). There were no significant differences between the two racial groups in terms of sex, ECOG PS, presence of B-symptoms (38% vs. 29%p=0.46), extranodal sites (50% vs. 78% ≤ 1, p=0.27), IPI risk, or treatment received (RCHOP 46% vs. 40% p=0.93). By the Hans, Natkunam, Tally, and Choi algorithms black patients more commonly presented with the poor-risk ABC/non-GCB subtype (by Choi black 64% ABC vs. white 37%; p= 0.01, Table). After controlling for clinical confounders including age, sex, stage, LDH, performance status, presence of B-symptoms, race, treatment (RCHOP vs. other), and ABC subtype, being >60 years of age [HR 3.1 95% CI 1.3–7.2], being black (HR 3.5 95% CI 1.5–8.2), and receiving treatment other than RCHOP (HR 12.8, 95% CI 3.2–50.6) were associated with inferior OS.

Conclusions:

The rate of ABC DLBCL is significantly higher in black pts compared to white pts in this university-based cohort from the Southern United States. Additional studies confirming these findings in larger populations and examining the mutations associated with these differences are underway to address biological differences intrinsic to DLBCL that may in part explain comparatively adverse features and outcomes for black pts with DLBCL.

Table:

Racial differences exist in DLBCL Cell of Origin Subtype Across IHC Algorithms

%ABC/nonGCB
AlgorithmWhiteBlackp value
Hans 38 77 <0.01 
Natkunam 37 69 0.01 
Choi 37 64 0.01 
Choi (mod) 39 65 0.03 
Tally 49 73 0.05 
%ABC/nonGCB
AlgorithmWhiteBlackp value
Hans 38 77 <0.01 
Natkunam 37 69 0.01 
Choi 37 64 0.01 
Choi (mod) 39 65 0.03 
Tally 49 73 0.05 
Disclosures:

Flowers:Celgene, Spectrum, Millennium, Gilead, Janssen: Research Funding; Genentech/Roche (unpaid), Millennium (unpaid), Celgene: Consultancy. Bernal-Mizrachi:Empire Genomics (not related to current work): Patents & Royalties. Sinha:Celgene: Research Funding. Jaye:Millenium Pharmaceuticals (For single lecture on immunohistochemical subtyping of large B cell lymphomas): Honoraria.

Author notes

*

Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.