What are the prognostic factors in early stage diffuse large cell lymphoma?

Updated: Aug 20, 2020
  • Author: Shipra Gandhi, MBBS; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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A number of studies have analyzed factors predicting better or worse survival rates for patients with limited-stage diffuse large cell lymphoma (stage IA and IIA, nonbulky) treated with combined modality programs.

In a study by the Southwestern Oncology Group (SWOG), a subgroup analysis showed that the 5-year survival rate was better in patients who had a favorable IPI score. [43] Similar results were found in a study of 308 patients with limited disease treated with 3 cycles of a doxorubicin-containing regimen followed by radiotherapy.

In an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) study, the 6-year disease-free survival rate for patients who achieved complete remission was greater in patients who received chemotherapy plus radiation therapy than it was in patients who received only chemotherapy (73% vs 56%, respectively). [44] The study compared 8 courses of a regimen of cyclophosphamide, Adriamycin, vincristine, prednisone (CHOP), with or without radiation, in patients with previously untreated bulky or extranodal stage I or II diffuse large cell lymphoma.

Despite the differences in disease-free survival, overall survival rates in the 2 groups were similar (64% for the radiation group vs 60% for the other patients). [44] Patients with 3 or more disease sites or a poor performance status were more likely to have treatment failure with the CHOP regimen, with or without radiotherapy.

The results from all of these studies suggest that combined modality therapy can be used to successfully treat patients with limited stage I disease and a stage-modified IPI score of zero. This approach appears to be less successful in patients with bulky stage I or II disease, 3 or more involved disease sites, and/or a stage-modified IPI score of 1 or more.

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