Predictive Significance of a New Prognostic Score for Patients With Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma in the Interim-Positron Emission Tomography Findings

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We hypothesized that the objective treatment response of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) was affected by many factors such as pathophysiological, biological, and pharmaceutical mechanisms. This retrospective study aimed to evaluate the predictive significance of clinical prognostic factors and interim fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), and to find a new prognostic predictor significantly associated with DLBCL patients’ outcome. A total of 105 adult patients with DLBCL were reviewed. Each patient underwent an interim 18F-FDG PET/CT scan after the second chemotherapy cycle. The visual method based on the Deauville 5-point scale was used to evaluate the interim-PET/CT scans. The relationships among the prognostic factors, the 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate and overall survival (OS) rate were analyzed with Kaplan–Meier plots. The predictive value of the newly constructed prognostic score was analyzed with multivariate analysis (Cox proportional hazard regression model). The visual analysis showed statistically significant differences in both PFS and OS between the patients with a negative interim-PET/CT and those with a positive interim-PET/CT. Advanced age, advanced stage, and DLBCL subtype were also significantly associated with outcome. A new prognostic score that composed of the above 4 factors was obtained. New prognostic score stratified patients into 4 risk groups with 3-year PFS of 98.5%, 73.9%, 11.1%, and 0%, and 3-year OS of 100%, 91.3%, 55.6%, and 0% (P < 0.001 for PFS and OS). Multivariate analysis showed that the new prognostic score had the greatest ability to predict relapse (P < 0.001) and death (P < 0.001). In DLBCL patients, interim 18F-FDG PET/CT can provide significant independent prognostic information. Our work illustrates that the new prognostic score has the strongest potential for accurately prognostication, for stratification in clinical trials, and for design of novel strategies for DLBCL patients in the high-risk group.

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