B-cell lymphoma, Unclassifiable with features intermediate between diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma, for convenience referred to here as unclassifiable B-cell lymphoma, is a category in the 2008 World Health Organization system used for a group of histologically aggressive neoplasms that are difficult to classify definitively. Currently, there is no established standard therapy for these neoplasms.METHODS:
The authors assessed MYC status and correlated it with treatment response and outcome in a group of 52 patients with unclassifiable B-cell lymphoma treated with either a standard DLBCL regimen (R-CHOP [rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone-related therapy]) or more intensive regimens, such as R-hyper-CVAD (rituximab plus hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone alternating with high-dose methotrexate and cytarabine). The regimens were selected by the treating clinicians based on the overall clinical and pathological findings.RESULTS:
Thirty (58%) unclassifiable B-cell lymphomas had MYC abnormalities (MYC+) including 27 with rearrangement, 2 with amplification, and 1 with both. The MYC+ and MYC− groups were similar in their age distribution and International Prognostic Index scores. Progression-free survival of patients with MYC+ unclassifiable B-cell lymphoma treated initially with R-CHOP was significantly worse than patients treated with R-hyper-CVAD (P = .0358). In contrast, for the MYC− unclassifiable B-cell lymphoma group, some patients responded to R-CHOP, and others were refractory to R-hyper-CVAD.CONCLUSIONS:
MYC aberrations are common in unclassifiable B-cell lymphoma. The presence of MYC aberrations identifies a patient subset that requires more aggressive therapy than R-CHOP. In contrast, MYC− unclassifiable B-cell lymphoma patients responded variably to either R-CHOP or aggressive therapy, and the latter showed no survival advantage. Cancer 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.
Patients with B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable with features intermediate between diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma with MYC rearrangement, who are treated with hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone have better progression-free survival and overall survival than those treated with rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone.