Interim fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose PET-computed tomography and cell of origin by immunohistochemistry predicts progression-free and overall survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients in the rituximab era

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The aim of this study was to analyze the prognostic value of the interim PET (iPET)-computed tomography (CT) (iPET-CT) after two cycles of immunochemotherapy with the R-CHOP protocol in patients with diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (DLBCL) treated with a curative intent in combination with the neoplastic cell origin defined by Hans’s immunohistochemstry algorithm followed in a reference center for cancer treatment in Brazil.

Materials and methods

We prospectively evaluated 147 DLBCL patients treated with R-CHOP-21 to assess the value of the International Prognostic Index, iPET-CT, and cell of origin by immunohistochemistry as prognostic markers in the rituximab era. Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose PET-CT was performed after two cycles (iPET-CT) and at the end of treatment in 111 patients. Lymphoma cases were categorized into germinal center (GC) and nongerminal center subtypes by immunohistochemistry according to Hans’s algorithm.


The median age of GC-DLBCL patients (52.7 years) was lower than that of nongerminal center-DLBCL patients (59.4 years) (P=0.021); in addition, it was lower in patients with negative iPET-CT findings (52.7 years) versus positive findings (59.4 years) (P=0.031). The overall survival at 48 months was 100% for iPET-CT-negative GC-DLBCL patients and 61.2% for iPET-CT-positive GC-DLBCL patients (P=0.002). Progression-free survival at 30 months was 100% for iPET-CT-negative GC-DLBCL patients and 60.3% for iPET-CT-positive GC-DLBCL patients (P=0.001).


We conclude that iPET-CT associated with cell origin identified a very good prognostic group in DLBCL patients treated with R-CHOP. Video Abstract:

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