Numbers of host 'helper' T cells and proliferating cells predict survival in diffuse small-cell lymphomas


Diffuse small-cell lymphomas of B-lineage comprise a group of immunophenotypically related lymphoid malignancies that display variable clinical aggressiveness. We compared a variety of clinical, pathologic, and immunologic characteristics of 64 B-lineage diffuse small-cell lymphomas to patient survival in an effort to define prognostically relevant subtypes of these neoplasms. Neither clinical parameters nor histological subclassification correlated with patient outcome. In contrast, three immunologic features of these lymphomas showed a statistically significant relationship with actuarial survival. Neoplasms that manifested ≥ 25% Ki-67+ cells (proliferation-associated antigen), <25% Leu 4+ cells (pan-T antigen), or <15% Leu 3+ cells (helper/inducer T-subset antigen) were associated with significantly decreased patient survival as compared to neoplasms with the reverse phenotype (P = .02, P = .003, P = .0005, respectively). Leu 3 findings were of particular importance in initial biopsies (P = .0007), while the Ki-67 findings were significant regardless of time of biopsy (P = .01 for biopsies at diagnosis and P = .004 for other biopsies). These data indicate that immunologic analysis can demonstrate subsets of diffuse small-cell lymphoma with different biologic potential, and suggest that such analysis be included in the routine work-up of patients with this type of neoplasm.

Publication Title

Journal of Clinical Oncology