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Soluble interleukin-2 receptor (SIL-2R) is known to be a prognostic parameter in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) receiving cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone (CHOP) therapy. However, its prognostic value has not been well known since the introduction of rituximab.We retrospectively evaluated the prognostic impact of SIL-2R in 228 DLBCL patients, comparing 141 rituximab-combined CHOP (RCHOP)-treated patients with 87 CHOP-treated patients as a historical control.Patients with high serum SIL-2R showed significantly poorer event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) than patients with low SIL-2R in both the RCHOP group (2-year EFS, 66% versus 92%, P < 0.001; OS, 82% versus 95%, P=0.005) and the CHOP group (2-year EFS, 40% versus 82%; OS, 61% versus 90%, both P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis including the five parameters of International Prognostic Index (IPI) and two-categorized IPI revealed that SIL-2R was an independent prognostic factor for EFS and OS in the RCHOP group as well as in the CHOP group.Our results demonstrate that SIL-2R retains its prognostic value in the rituximab era. The prognostic value of SIL-2R in DLBCL patients receiving rituximab-combined chemotherapy should be reassessed on a larger scale and by long-term follow-up.