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Journal: Hematological oncology


Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is characterized by a variable clinical course in which patients can experience indolent disease or frequent relapses despite a good initial response to conventional therapy. Risk stratification of MCL is most frequently performed using the MCL International Prognostic Index (MIPI). Recent studies indicate that the peripheral blood absolute monocyte count (AMC) and tumour-associated macrophages may reflect the state of the tumour microenvironment in lymphomas. The significance of AMC and tumour-associated macrophages in the clinical course of MCL is unknown. The prognostic impact of the AMC, of CD68 expression and of CD163 expression was retrospectively examined in 103 MCL samples using the receiver operating characteristic curved. Patients with an AMC ≥ 375 cells/μL at diagnosis were more likely to present with advanced-stage disease (p = 0.026), leukocytosis (p < 0.001), lymphocytosis (p = 0.01) and granulocytosis (p = 0.003). On univariate analysis, a high AMC (≥375 cells/μL) correlated with poorer overall survival (OS) (p = 0.01). Neither CD68 nor CD163 expression was significantly associated with either OS or event-free survival. Multivariate analysis showed that a high AMC was a prognostic factor for OS, independent of the MIPI [hazards ratio (HR), 1.811; 95% confidence interval, 1.018-3.223; p = 0.043]. This study demonstrates that the AMC at the time of diagnosis is an independent prognostic factor for OS in MCL, which suggests the possibility that AMC may be used in addition to the MIPI to predict outcome in patients with MCL. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Monocyte, Cancer, Macrophage, Multivariate statistics, Hematology, Prognosis, Univariate, Mantle cell lymphoma


The diagnosis of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is delayed by most physicians. This study aimed to identify early parameters and suitable scoring systems for the risk of HLH. Clinical and laboratory data collected ≤3 days after admission were defined as early parameters and used to calculate the number of HLH-2004 criteria met and bone marrow (BM) score. Between January 2006 and February 2016, 233 immunocompetent adults with naïve fever of unknown origin who underwent a BM study were enrolled to mimic patients at risk of HLH and randomly assigned into the developmental or validation cohort. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis was finally diagnosed in 47 patients, with non-Hodgkin lymphoma as the major etiology (51.1%). Upon admission, four-fifths of patients who developed subsequent HLH fulfilled ≤3 of 8 HLH-2004 criteria, and 6 early parameters were independent predictors of HLH: anemia (hemoglobin < 10 g/dL), thrombocytopenia (platelet count < 100 × 10(3) /μL), leukoerythroblastosis, hyperbilirubinemia (total bilirubin > 2 × upper normal limit), hyperferritinemia (ferritin > 1000 ng/mL), and splenomegaly. Compared with the HLH criteria met upon admission, the BM score was an independent predictor (odds ratio = 1.621; 95% confidence interval, 1.355-1.940) with excellent discrimination (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.920; 95% confidence interval, 0.883-0.958). The sensitivity and specificity for a BM score cutoff of 10 points were 95% and 75%, respectively. When approaching immunocompetent adults with a continuously high fever, the BM score at initial admission assists with early identification of patients at risk of HLH.

Concepts: Positive predictive value, Bone marrow, Type I and type II errors, Sensitivity and specificity, Blood disorders, Fever, Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, Binary classification


Leukostasis is a poorly understood and life-threatening complication of acute hyperleukocytic leukemia. The incidence of hyperleukocytosis and leukostasis differs among various subtypes of leukemias. While the pathophysiology of leukostasis is not fully understood, recent research has elucidated many novel pathways that may have therapeutic implications in the future. Respiratory and neurological compromise represents the classical clinical manifestations of leukostasis. If it is not diagnosed and treated rapidly, the one-week mortality rate is approximately 40%. Targeted induction chemotherapy is an important component of the successful treatment of leukostasis, although other modalities of cytoreduction are being used and investigated. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Blood, Medical statistics, Bone marrow, Chemotherapy, Leukemia, Cyclophosphamide


The assessment of minimal residual disease (MRD) in acute myeloblastic leukemia is of growing interest as a prognostic marker of patients' outcome. Multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC), tracking leukemia-associated immunophenotypic patterns, has been shown in several studies to be a useful tool to investigate MRD. Here, we report a multicenter prospective study which allowed to define a harmonized analysis strategy, as well as the efficacy of MFC MRD to predict outcome. This study included 276 patients, in 10 different MFC centers, of whom 268 had at least 1 MRD check point. The combination of a CD45, CD34, and CD33 backbone, with the addition of CD117, CD13, CD7, and CD15 in 2 five-color tubes allowed to define each patient’s multiparameter immunophenotypic characteristics at diagnosis, according to a Boolean combination of gates. The same individual diagnosis gating strategy was then applied at each MRD time point for each patient. MRD levels were stratified according to log by log thresholds, from 5 × 10-2 (the classical morphological threshold to define remission) down to <5 × 10-5 . MRD was found to be constantly negative (<5 × 10-5 ) for 148 patients. Survival analyses significantly associated MRD negativity with a good prognosis and any positive value with poorer outcome. All P values were <0.0001 both for disease-free and overall survival at the earliest time point (post-induction, MRD1) as well as when considering all time points together. Finally, MRD levels were independent of cytogenetics and allowed in fact to further stratify all cytogenetics risk groups. In summary, this multicenter study demonstrates that a simple combination of immunophenotypic markers successfully allows for the detection of MRD in acute myeloblastic leukemia patients, with a strong correlation to outcome.

Concepts: Medicine, Disease, Medical terms, Patient, Medical diagnosis, Flow cytometry, Prognosis, Cluster of differentiation


The gold standard for diagnosis of central nervous system lymphomas still regards a stereotactic brain biopsy, with the risk of major complications for the patient. As tumor cells can be detected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), CSF analysis can be used as an alternative. In this respect, mutation analysis in CSF can be of added value to other diagnostic parameters such a cytomorphology and clonality analysis. A well-known example of targeted mutation analysis entails MYD88 p.(L265P) detection, which is present in the majority of Bing Neel syndrome and primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) patients. Unfortunately, tumor yield in CSF can be very low. Therefore, use of the highly sensitive droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) might be a suitable analysis strategy for targeted mutation detection. We analyzed 26 formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples (8 positive and 18 negative for MYD88 p.(L265P) mutation) by ddPCR, of which the results were compared with next generation sequencing (NGS). Subsequently, 32 CSF samples were analyzed by ddPCR. ddPCR and NGS results on FFPE material showed 100% concordance. Among the 32 CSF samples, 9 belonged to patients with lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL) and clinical suspicion of Bing Neel syndrome, and 3 belonged to patients with PCNSL. Nine of these samples tested positive for MYD88 p.(L265P) (8 LPL and 1 PCNSL). This study shows that sensitive MYD88 mutation analysis by ddPCR in CSF is highly reliable and can be applied even when DNA input is low. Therefore, ddPCR is of added value to current diagnostic parameters, especially when the available amount of DNA is limited.

Concepts: Central nervous system, Nervous system, Cancer, Brain, Biopsy, Neurology, Lymphoma, Cerebrospinal fluid


Treatment of myeloma is a long-term treatment mainly based on all-oral combinations of drugs. Because oral drugs have a more complex pharmacokinetics compared with IV treatments, an appropriate knowledge of the factors that may alter their systemic exposure is of particular clinical relevance. Both drug-drug interactions, food-effect, and dose-adaptation in renal and hepatic impairment may influence the systemic drug levels with a potential impact on drug efficacy or safety. Moreover, a better control of drug exposure may improve the side effect profiles of these treatments with a favourable impact on patient compliance. Furthermore, as long-term treatments, these drugs may also alter the systemic exposure of coadministered medications in these rather old patients. The aim of this review was to identify the factors modifying the systemic exposure of oral drugs used in myeloma by focusing on the pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions and the effects of renal and hepatic impairment and of food impact.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Pharmacology, Effectiveness, Drug, Illness, Efficacy, Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacy


Vertebral fractures affect approximately 30% of myeloma patients and lead to a poor impact on survival and life quality. In general, age and body mass index (BMI) are reported to have an important role in vertebral fractures. However, the triangle relationship among age, BMI, and vertebral fractures is still unclear in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) patients. This study recruited consecutive 394 patients with NDMM at Taipei Veterans General Hospital between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2015. Risk factors for vertebral fractures in NDMM patients were collected and analyzed. The survival curves were demonstrated using Kaplan-Meier estimate. In total, 301 (76.4%) NDMM patients were enrolled in the cohort. In the median follow-up period of 18.0 months, the median survival duration in those with vertebral fractures ≥ 2 was shorter than those with vertebral fracture < 2 (59.3 vs 28.6 months; P = 0.017). In multivariate Poisson regression, BMI < 18.5 kg/m(2) declared increased vertebral fractures compared with BMI ≥ 24.0 kg/m(2) (adjusted RR, 2.79; 95% CI, 1.44-5.43). In multivariable logistic regression, BMI < 18.5 kg/m(2) was an independent risk factor for vertebral fractures ≥ 2 compared with BMI ≥ 24.0 kg/m(2) (adjusted OR, 6.05; 95% CI, 2.43-15.08). Among age stratifications, patients with both old age and low BMI were at a greater risk suffering from increased vertebral fractures, especially in patients > 75 years and BMI < 18.5 kg/m(2) (adjusted RR, 12.22; 95% CI, 3.02-49.40). This is the first study that demonstrated that age had a significant impact on vertebral fractures in NDMM patients with low BMI. Elder patients with low BMI should consider to routinely receive spinal radiographic examinations and regular follow-up.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Multiple myeloma, Regression analysis, Cohort study, Epidemiology, Risk, Body mass index, Generalized linear model


Despite a general favourable outcome in limited stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), relapses occur in about 10 to 20% of patients. Prognostic models only partially identify patients at risk for relapse. Moreover, it is not known whether the outcome after such a relapse is similar to the outcome after relapse in advanced stages. From January 2004 through December 2012, all newly diagnosed patients with stage I(E) DLBCL were retrospectively analysed from 2 clinical databases to investigate the relapse pattern and outcome in relation to initial treatment and clinical characteristics. In 126 patients (median age 64 years), histologically confirmed stage I(E) DLBCL was diagnosed. With a median follow-up of 53 months (range 5-132 months), 1 progressive disease and 18 relapses occurred. The 5-year time to tumour progression and disease-specific survival were 85% (95% CI 79-91%) and 92% (95% CI 87%-97%), respectively. We observed no significant difference in relapse localization, time to tumour progression, and disease-specific survival between patients treated with abbreviated R-CHOP plus involved field radiotherapy or with 6 to 8 cycles of R-CHOP. Analysis of relapses showed relapse >5 years after initial treatment (late relapse) in 5 of 19 patients (26%). Six of 19 patients (32%) had central nervous system relapse. Three of 11 relapsed cases available for analysis (28%) showed an MYC translocation, suggesting an overrepresentation in the relapse group. Outcome of patients with a relapse was poor with a median survival after relapse of 8 months. Only 1 patient (5%) underwent successful autologous stem cell transplantation. To improve outcome in these patients, early identification of new biological factors such as a MYC translocation or a high risk for CNS dissemination might be helpful. Moreover, treatment of any relapse after stage I disease should be taken seriously. Salvage treatment should be similar to relapses after advanced DLBCL.

Concepts: Central nervous system, Nervous system, Cancer, Types of cancer, Lymphoma, Relapse, Diffuse large B cell lymphoma, Rituximab


Implementation of cytarabine into induction therapy became standard of care for younger patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). On the basis of its beneficial impact, many centers incorporated cytarabine at lower doses also into first-line treatments of elderly patients. We conducted a multicenter observational study that prospectively analyzed safety and efficacy of alternating 3 + 3 cycles of R-CHOP and R-cytarabine for newly diagnosed transplant-ineligible MCL patients. A total of 73 patients were enrolled with median age 70 years. Most patients had intermediate (39.7%) and high-risk (50.7%) disease according to MCL international prognostic index. Rituximab maintenance was initiated in 58 patients. Overall response rate reached 89% by positron emission tomography-computed tomography, including 75.3% complete remissions. Two patients (2.7%) did not complete the induction therapy because of toxicity. Three patients (4.1%) were considered nonresponders, which led to therapy change before completion of induction. Estimated progression-free survival and overall survival were 51.3% and 68.6% at 4 years, respectively. Mantle cell lymphoma international prognostic index, bulky disease (≥ 5 cm), and achievement of positron emission tomography-negativity independently correlated with progression-free survival. Grade 3 to 4 hematologic and nonhematologic toxicity was documented in 48% and 20.5% patients, respectively. Alternation of R-CHOP and R-cytarabine represents feasible and very effective regimen for elderly/comorbid MCL patients. This study was registered at GovTrial ( NCT03054883.

Concepts: Cancer, Medical terms, Observational study, Hematology, Blood disorders, Chemotherapy regimens, Prognosis, Mantle cell lymphoma


Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKTL) is a subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with a poor prognosis. Although first-line treatments for patients with localized ENKTL have been established, there is no gold standard treatment for patients with advanced ENKTL and refractory and/or relapsed disease. Anti-CD30 antibody-based therapy, including brentuximab vedotin (BV), has been shown to target malignant lymphomas with CD30 expression. In particular, this therapeutic agent has recently been suggested to be effective for Hodgkin lymphoma and mature T-cell lymphoma. However, the efficacy of BV toward ENKTL has not yet been established. Therefore, we investigated the expression of CD30 in a large cohort to evaluate BV as a potential treatment for ENKTL. In this study, 97 Japanese patients with newly diagnosed ENKTL between January 2007 and December 2015 were enrolled. Flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry were performed for the evaluation of CD30 expression. If the cut-off value of CD30 expression is 1% or more, there were 55 positive cases (56.5%). According to the localization of lesion, the frequency of CD30 expression was significantly higher in the non-nasal type than in the nasal type (P = .0394). No differences were observed in almost all clinical characteristics between CD30-positive cases and CD30-negative cases. In addition, the expression of CD30 was not a prognostic factor for either overall survival or progression-free survival. In conclusion, frequent expression of CD30 in ENKTL suggests anti-CD30 antibody-based therapy may be an effective treatment.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Types of cancer, Lymphoma, Flow cytometry, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma