Stromal Gene Signatures in Large-B-Cell Lymphomas

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BackgroundThe addition of rituximab to combination chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP), or R-CHOP, has significantly improved the survival of patients with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma. Whether gene-expression signatures correlate with survival after treatment of diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma is unclear.MethodsWe profiled gene expression in pretreatment biopsy specimens from 181 patients with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma who received CHOP and 233 patients with this disease who received R-CHOP. A multivariate gene-expression-based survival-predictor model derived from a training group was tested in a validation group.ResultsA multivariate model created from three gene-expression signatures — termed “germinal-center B-cell,” “stromal-1,” and “stromal-2” — predicted survival both in patients who received CHOP and patients who received R-CHOP. The prognostically favorable stromal-1 signature reflected extracellular-matrix deposition and histiocytic infiltration. By contrast, the prognostically unfavorable stromal-2 signature reflected tumor blood-vessel density.ConclusionsSurvival after treatment of diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma is influenced by differences in immune cells, fibrosis, and angiogenesis in the tumor microenvironment.

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