Purpose: We have previously shown the prognostic significance of BCL2 expression in the activated B-cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (ABC-DLBCL) patients treated with cyclophosphamide-Adriamycin-vincristine- prednisone (CHOP) or CHOP-like therapy. However, after the inclusion of rituximab (R) in the CHOP regimen, several conflicting observations about the prognostic value of BCL2 expression have been reported. Experimental Design: We evaluated the R-CHOP cohort of 221 DLBCL cases with gene expression profiling data. BCL2 protein (n = 169), mRNA (n = 221) expression, and t(14;18) (n = 144) were correlated with clinical outcome. The CHOP cohort (n = 181) was used for comparative analysis. Results: BCL2 protein expression has significant impact on overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) in DLBCL (OS, P = 0.009; EFS, P = 0.001) and GCB-DLBCL (OS, P = 0.03; EFS, P = 0.002) but not in ABC-DLBCL in the R-CHOP cohort. The survival differences for EFS in GCB-DLBCL were still observed in multivariate analysis. At the mRNA level, this correlation was observed in EFS in DLBCL (P = 0.006), but only a trend was observed in GCB-DLBCL (P = 0.09). The t(14;18) was detected in 34% of GCB-DLBCL but was not associated with significant differences in survival. Gene enrichment analysis identified significant enrichment of the DLBCL "stromal-1" signatures and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF1-α) signature in BCL2 (-)GCB-DLBCL, whereas T FH cell signatures were enriched in BCL2(+)GCB-DLBCL. Conclusion: The prognostic significance of BCL2 has changed after inclusion of rituximab in the treatment protocol and is observed in the GCB-DLBCL rather than the ABC-DLBCL. Although rituximab has benefited patients in both DLBCL subgroups, the BCL2(+)GCB-DLBCL seems to receive less benefit from this treatment and may require other novel therapeutic intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research