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1.  Relapse of lymphoma after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation: Management strategies and outcome 
The outcome and management of relapsed lymphoma after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is difficult. Therapeutic options may include donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI), reduction of immunosuppression (RIS), chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, second HCT and experimental treatments, but reported data contrasting the response and efficacy of these salvage treatments is limited. We describe the treatments, response, prognosis and long-term survival of 72 patients with relapse of lymphoma after allogeneic HCT.
Between 1991 and 2007, 227 lymphoma patients underwent allogeneic HCT. Of these, 72 (32%) developed relapse/progression after their HCT at a median of 99 days (0–1898 days); 37 had early (<100 days) post-HCT relapse. Forty-four had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (7 mantle cell, 5 indolent, 15 diffuse large B cell, 4 Burkitt's and 13 T/Natural Killer cell) and 28 patients had Hodgkin's lymphoma. At the time of HCT, 62 patients were in remission (22 in complete [CR] and 40 in partial [PR]), one had stable while 9 had progressive disease. Seventeen cases received myeloablative and 55 received a reduced intensity conditioning regimen. At relapse, most patients had generalized lymphadenopathy, extranodal organ involvement and advanced disease. Five patients received no intervention for the post-HCT relapse. Immunosuppressive treatment was reduced or withdrawn as the first line therapy in 58 patients (80.5%); 47 were treated using combinations of conventional chemotherapy (n=22), rituximab (n=27), interferon (IFN) (n=1), DLI (n=7), second HCT (n=2), local radiation (n=23) and other therapy (n=6). Thirty-eight patients had an objective response (CR in 30, PR in 8) and 2 had stable disease (SD). At the post-HCT relapse, favorable prognostic factors for survival after HCT included good ECOG performance status (0–2), normal lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), early stage disease (stage I–III), isolated extranodal organ involvement and later relapse (>100 days) post-HCT. Three year survival after HCT was significantly better in late than early relapse (53% (95% confidence interval (CI) [34–69%] vs. 36%, [20–52%], p=0.02). Of 72 relapsed patients, 29 (40%) survive at a median of 34 (3–148) months post transplant. The most common cause of death was underlying lymphoma (79%).
The overall prognosis of relapsed/progressive lymphoma after allogeneic HCT is disappointing, yet half of patients respond to withdrawal of immunosuppression and additional therapies. Novel treatments can control lymphoma with acceptable morbidity. Particularly for patients with later relapse, ongoing treatment after relapse can yield meaningful benefit and prolonged survival.
PMCID: PMC3132225  PMID: 21338707
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation; lymphoma; relapse
2.  A large single-center experience with allogeneic stem-cell transplantation for peripheral T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and advanced mycosis fungoides/Sezary syndrome 
Annals of Oncology  2011;22(7):1608-1613.
Background: The prognosis for patients with most forms of T-cell lymphoma is poor. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) may improve the outcome.
Patients and methods: This study examines the outcome of 52 patients who underwent ablative or nonablative allogeneic HSCT for peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) or advanced mycosis fungoides/Sezary syndrome over a 12-year period at a single institution. We divided the patients into those with predominantly nodal histologies: peripheral T-cell not otherwise specified (PTCL NOS), angioimmunoblastic (AITL), or anaplastic large cell lymphoma, T/null type (systemic) (ALCL), and predominantly extranodal histologies: natural killer (NK)/T cell, enteropathy type, hepatosplenic, subcutaneous panniculitic, mycosis fungoides, or T cell or NK cell other.
Results: Median follow-up of survivors is 49 months. Non-relapse mortality and relapse at 3 years was 27% and 43%, respectively. The incidence of grade II–IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was 21%. The incidence of extensive chronic GVHD at 2 years was 27%. The 3-year progression-free survival was 30%: 45% in patients with predominantly nodal histologies (PTCL NOS, AITL, and ALCL) and 6% in patients with predominantly extranodal histologies (P = 0.016). Overall survival at 3 years was 41% for all patients.
Conclusion: Allogeneic HSCT can produce long-term remissions in relapsed/refractory T-cell lymphoma, especially those with nodal histologies.
PMCID: PMC3121969  PMID: 21252059
allogeneic transplant; CTCL; GVHD; mycosis fungoides; NK lymphoma; T-cell lymphoma
3.  T-Cell Lymphomas in South America and Europe 
Peripheral T-cell lymphomas are a group of rare neoplasms originating from clonal proliferation of mature post-thymic lymphocytes with different entities having specific biological characteristics and clinical features. As natural killer cells are closely related to T-cells, natural killer-cell lymphomas are also part of the group. The current World Health Organization classification recognizes four categories of T/natural killer-cell lymphomas with respect to their presentation: disseminated (leukemic), nodal, extranodal and cutaneous. Geographic variations in the distribution of these diseases are well documented: nodal subtypes are more frequent in Europe and North America, while extranodal forms, including natural killer-cell lymphomas, occur almost exclusively in Asia and South America. On the whole, T-cell lymphomas are more common in Asia than in western countries, usually affect adults, with a higher tendency in men, and, excluding a few subtypes, usually have an aggressive course and poor prognosis. Apart from anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma, that have a good outcome, other nodal and extranodal forms have a 5-year overall survival of about 30%. According to the principal prognostic indexes, the majority of patients are allocated to the unfavorable subset. In the past, the rarity of these diseases prevented progress in the understanding of their biology and improvements in the efficaciousness of therapy. Recently, international projects devoted to these diseases created networks promoting investigations on T-cell lymphomas. These projects are the basis of forthcoming cooperative, large scale trials to detail biologic characteristics of each sub-entity and to possibly individuate targets for new therapies.
PMCID: PMC3459617  PMID: 23049383
Lymphoma, T-cell/epidemiology; Killer-cells, natural; Prognosis; Lymphoma, T- cell/ pathology; Lymphoma, T-Cell/classification; Hematologic neoplasms; South America; Europe
4.  Sequential chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy versus concurrent chemoradiotherapy in patients with stage I/II extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type 
Blood research  2013;48(4):274-281.
The purpose of this report is to summarize our clinical experience of patients with stage I/II extranodal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, treated using sequential chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy (SCRT) or concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT).
Forty-three patients with stage I/II extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, who received SCRT (16 patients) or CCRT (27 patients) were included in the present analysis.
The median follow-up time was 39 months (range, 4-171 months) for all patients, 77 months (range, 4-171 months) for the SCRT group, and 31 months (range, 6-132 months) for the CCRT group. There were no statistically significant differences between the SCRT and CCRT groups with regard to the 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) (56% vs. 41%, P=0.823) and 3-year overall survival (OS) (75% vs. 59%, P=0.670). Univariate analysis revealed that patients with tumors confined to the nasal cavity and patients achieved complete remission had better PFS and OS rates, regardless of the treatment sequence. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients with tumors confined to the nasal cavity and patients aged ≤60 years had better OS rates.
The effect of SCRT and CCRT are similar in terms of survival outcomes of patients with stage I/II extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type. Our results show that tumors confined to the nasal cavity and an age ≤60 years were associated with a better prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3894386  PMID: 24466552
Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma; Nasal type; Chemoradiotherapy; Treatment outcome
5.  CD20-negative de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in HIV-negative patients: A matched case-control analysis in a single institution 
HIV-negative, CD20-negative de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients has rarely been reported. To elucidate the nature of this entity, we retrospectively reviewed the data of 1,456 consecutive de novo DLBCL patients who were treated at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center between January 1999 and March 2011.
The pathologic characteristics of CD20-negative patients, clinical features, response to initial treatment, and outcomes of 28 patients with available clinical data (n = 21) were reviewed. Then, a matched case-control (1:3) analysis was performed to compare patients with CD20-negative and -positive DLBCL.
The median age of the 28 CD20-negative DLBCL patients was 48 years, with a male-female ratio of 20:8. Seventeen of 22 (77.3%) CD20-negative DLBCL cases were of the non-germinal centre B-cell (non-GCB) subtype. High Ki67 expression (≥80%), an index of cell proliferation, was demonstrated in 17 of 24 (70.8%) cases. Extranodal involvement (≥ 1 site) was observed in 76.2% of the patients. Following initial therapy, 9 of 21 (42.9%) cases achieved complete remission, 4 (19%) achieved partial remission, 1 (4.8%) had stable disease, and 7 (33.3%) had disease progression. The median overall survival was 23 months. The 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 30.5% and 35%, respectively. A matched case-control analysis showed that patients with CD20-negative and -positive DLBCL did not exhibit a statistically significant difference with respect to the main clinical characteristics (except extranodal involvement), whereas the patients with CD20-positive DLBCL had a better survival outcome with 3-year PFS (P = 0.008) and OS (P = 0.008) rates of 52% and 74.1%, respectively.
This study suggests that HIV-negative, CD20-negative de novo DLBCL patients have a higher proportion of non-GCB subtype, a higher proliferation index, more frequent extranodal involvement, a poorer response, and a poorer prognosis to conventional treatment compared to patients with CD20-positive DLBCL. Further studies are warranted to investigate new target and optimal therapy of CD20-negative de novo DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC3418184  PMID: 22554077
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; CD20-negative; Clinicopathologic features; HIV-negative
6.  Extracorporeal Photophoresis 
Executive Summary
To assess the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of extracorporeal photophoresis (ECP) for the treatment of refractory erythrodermic cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) and refractory chronic graft versus host disease (cGvHD).
Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma
Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a general name for a group of skin affecting disorders caused by malignant white blood cells (T lymphocytes). Cutaneous T cell lymphoma is relatively uncommon and represents slightly more than 2% of all lymphomas in the United States. The most frequently diagnosed form of CTCL is mycosis fungoides (MF) and its leukemic variant Sezary syndrome (SS). The relative frequency and disease-specific 5-year survival of 1,905 primary cutaneous lymphomas classified according to the World Health Organization-European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (WHO-EORTC) classification (Appendix 1). Mycosis fungoides had a frequency of 44% and a disease specific 5-year survival of 88%. Sezary syndrome had a frequency of 3% and a disease specific 5-year survival of 24%.
Cutaneous T cell lymphoma has an annual incidence of approximately 0.4 per 100,000 and it mainly occurs in the 5th to 6th decade of life, with a male/female ratio of 2:1. Mycosis fungoides is an indolent lymphoma with patients often having several years of eczematous or dermatitic skin lesions before the diagnosis is finally established. Mycosis fungoides commonly presents as chronic eczematous patches or plaques and can remain stable for many years. Early in the disease biopsies are often difficult to interpret and the diagnosis may only become apparent by observing the patient over time.
The clinical course of MF is unpredictable. Most patients will live normal lives and experience skin symptoms without serious complications. Approximately 10% of MF patients will experience progressive disease involving lymph nodes, peripheral blood, bone marrow and visceral organs. A particular syndrome in these patients involves erythroderma (intense and usually widespread reddening of the skin from dilation of blood vessels, often preceding or associated with exfoliation), and circulating tumour cells. This is known as SS. It has been estimated that approximately 5-10% of CTCL patients have SS. Patients with SS have a median survival of approximately 30 months.
Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a treatment used for a variety of malignant and nonmalignant disease of the bone marrow and immune system. The procedure is often associated with serious immunological complications, particularly graft versus host disease (GvHD). A chronic form of GvHD (cGvHD) afflicts many allogeneic HCT recipients, which results in dysfunction of numerous organ systems or even a profound state of immunodeficiency. Chronic GVHD is the most frequent cause of poor long-term outcome and quality of life after allogeneic HCT. The syndrome typically develops several months after transplantation, when the patient may no longer be under the direct care of the transplant team.
Approximately 50% of patients with cGvHD have limited disease and a good prognosis. Of the patients with extensive disease, approximately 60% will respond to treatment and eventually be able to discontinue immunosuppressive therapy. The remaining patients will develop opportunistic infection, or require prolonged treatment with immunosuppressive agents.
Chronic GvHD occurs in at least 30% to 50% of recipients of transplants from human leukocyte antigen matched siblings and at least 60% to 70% of recipients of transplants from unrelated donors. Risk factors include older age of patient or donor, higher degree of histoincompatibility, unrelated versus related donor, use of hematopoietic cells obtained from the blood rather than the marrow, and previous acute GvHD. Bhushan and Collins estimated that the incidence of severe cGvHD has probably increased in recent years because of the use of more unrelated transplants, donor leukocyte infusions, nonmyeloablative transplants and stem cells obtained from the blood rather than the marrow. The syndrome typically occurs 4 to 7 months after transplantation but may begin as early as 2 months or as late as 2 or more years after transplantation. Chronic GvHD may occur by itself, evolve from acute GvHD, or occur after resolution of acute GvHD.
The onset of the syndrome may be abrupt but is frequently insidious with manifestations evolving gradually for several weeks. The extent of involvement varies significantly from mild involvement limited to a few patches of skin to severe involvement of numerous organ systems and profound immunodeficiency. The most commonly involved tissues are the skin, liver, mouth, and eyes. Patients with limited disease have localized skin involvement, evidence of liver dysfunction, or both, whereas those with more involvement of the skin or involvement of other organs have extensive disease.
Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma
The optimal management of MF is undetermined because of its low prevalence, and its highly variable natural history, with frequent spontaneous remissions and exacerbations and often prolonged survival.
Nonaggressive approaches to therapy are usually warranted with treatment aimed at improving symptoms and physical appearance while limiting toxicity. Given that multiple skin sites are usually involved, the initial treatment choices are usually topical or intralesional corticosteroids or phototherapy using psoralen (a compound found in plants which make the skin temporarily sensitive to ultraviolet A) (PUVA). PUVA is not curative and its influence on disease progression remains uncertain. Repeated courses are usually required which may lead to an increased risk of both melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer. For thicker plaques, particularly if localized, radiotherapy with superficial electrons is an option.
“Second line” therapy for early stage disease is often topical chemotherapy, radiotherapy or total skin electron beam radiation (TSEB).
Treatment of advanced stage (IIB-IV) MF usually consists of topical or systemic therapy in refractory or rapidly progressive SS.
Bone marrow transplantation and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation have been used to treat many malignant hematologic disorders (e.g., leukemias) that are refractory to conventional treatment. Reports on the use of these procedures for the treatment of CTCL are limited and mostly consist of case reports or small case series.
Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease
Patients who develop cGvHD require reinstitution of immunosuppressive medication (if already discontinued) or an increase in dosage and possibly addition of other agents. The current literature regarding cGvHD therapy is less than optimal and many recommendations about therapy are based on common practices that await definitive testing. Patients with disease that is extensive by definition but is indolent in clinical appearance may respond to prednisone. However, patients with more aggressive disease are treated with higher doses of corticosteroids and/or cyclosporine.
Numerous salvage therapies have been considered in patients with refractory cGvHD, including ECP. Due to uncertainty around salvage therapies, Bhushan and Collins suggested that ideally, patients with refractory cGvHD should be entered into clinical trials.
Two Ontario expert consultants jointly estimated that there may be approximately 30 new erythrodermic treatment resistant CTCL patients and 30 new treatment resistant cGvHD patients per year who are unresponsive to other forms of therapy and may be candidates for ECP.
Extracorporeal photopheresis is a procedure that was initially developed as a treatment for CTCL, particularly SS.
Current Technique
Extracorporeal photopheresis is an immunomodulatory technique based on pheresis of light sensitive cells. Whole blood is removed from patients followed by pheresis. Lymphocytes are separated by centrifugation to create a concentrated layer of white blood cells. The lymphocyte layer is treated with methoxsalen (a drug that sensitizes the lymphocytes to light) and exposed to UVA, following which the lymphocytes are returned to the patient. Red blood cells and plasma are returned to the patient between each cycle.
Photosensitization is achieved by administering methoxsalen to the patient orally 2 hours before the procedure, or by injecting methoxsalen directly ino the leucocyte rich fraction. The latter approach avoids potential side effects such as nausea, and provides a more consistent drug level within the machine.
In general, from the time the intravenous line is inserted until the white blood cells are returned to the patient takes approximately 2.5-3.5 hours.
For CTCL, the treatment schedule is generally 2 consecutive days every 4 weeks for a median of 6 months. For cGvHD, an expert in the field estimated that the treatment schedule would be 3 times a week for the 1st month, then 2 consecutive days every 2 weeks after that (i.e., 4 treatments a month) for a median of 6 to 9 months.
Regulatory Status
The UVAR XTS Photopheresis System is licensed by Health Canada as a Class 3 medical device (license # 7703) for the “palliative treatment of skin manifestations of CTCL.” It is not licensed for the treatment of cGvHD.
UVADEX (sterile solution methoxsalen) is not licensed by Health Canada, but can be used in Canada via the Special Access Program. (Personal communication, Therakos, February 16, 2006)
According to the manufacturer, the UVAR XTS photopheresis system licensed by Health Canada can also be used with oral methoxsalen. (Personal communication, Therakos, February 16, 2006) However, oral methoxsalen is associated with side effects, must be taken by the patient in advance of ECP, and has variable absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.
According to Health Canada, UVADEX is not approved for use in Canada. In addition, a review of the Product Monographs of the methoxsalen products that have been approved in Canada showed that none of them have been approved for oral administration in combination with the UVAR XTS photophoresis system for “the palliative treatment of the skin manifestations of cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma”.
In the United States, the UVAR XTS Photopheresis System is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for “use in the ultraviolet-A (UVA) irradiation in the presence of the photoactive drug methoxsalen of extracorporeally circulating leukocyte-enriched blood in the palliative treatment of the skin manifestations of CTCL in persons who have not been responsive to other therapy.”
UVADEX is approved by the FDA for use in conjunction with UVR XTS photopheresis system for “use in the ultraviolet-A (UVA) irradiation in the presence of the photoactive drug methoxsalen of extracorporeally circulating leukocyte-enriched blood in the palliative treatment of the skin manifestations of CTCL in persons who have not been responsive to other therapy.”
The use of the UVAR XTS photopheresis system or UVADEX for cGvHD is an off-label use of a FDA approved device/drug.
Summary of Findings
The quality of the trials was examined.
As stated by the GRADE Working Group, the following definitions were used in grading the quality of the evidence.
Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma
Overall, there is low-quality evidence that ECP improves response rates and survival in patients with refractory erythrodermic CTCL (Table 1).
Limitations in the literature related to ECP for the treatment of refractory erythrodermic CTCL include the following:
Different treatment regimens.
Variety of forms of CTCL (and not necessarily treatment resistant) - MF, erythrodermic MF, SS.
SS with peripheral blood involvement → role of T cell clonality reporting?
Case series (1 small crossover RCT with several limitations)
Small sample sizes.
Response criteria not clearly defined/consistent.
Unclear how concomitant therapy contributed to responses.
Variation in definitions of concomitant therapy
Comparison to historical controls.
Some patients were excluded from analysis because of progression of disease, toxicity and other reasons.
Unclear/strange statistics
Quality of life not reported as an outcome of interest.
The reported CR range is ~ 16% to 23% and the overall reported CR/PR range is ~ 33% to 80%.
The wide range in reported responses to ECP appears to be due to the variability of the patients treated and the way in which the data were presented and analyzed.
Many patients, in mostly retrospective case series, were concurrently on other therapies and were not assessed for comparability of diagnosis or disease stage (MF versus SS; erythrodermic versus not erythrodermic). Blood involvement in patients receiving ECP (e.g., T cell clonality) was not consistently reported, especially in earlier studies. The definitions of partial and complete response also are not standardized or consistent between studies.
Quality of life was reported in one study; however, the scale was developed by the authors and is not a standard validated scale.
Adverse events associated with ECP appear to be uncommon and most involve catheter related infections and hypotension caused by volume depletion.
GRADE Quality of Studies – Extracorporeal Photopheresis for Refractory Erythrodermic Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma
Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease
Overall, there is low-quality evidence that ECP improves response rates and survival in patients with refractory cGvHD (Table 2).
Patients in the studies had stem cell transplants due to a variety of hematological disorders (e.g., leukemias, aplastic anemia, thalassemia major, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non Hodgkin’s lymphoma).
In 2001, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Technology Evaluation Centre concluded that ECP meets the TEC criteria as treatment of cGvHD that is refractory to established therapy.
The Catalan health technology assessment (also published in 2001) concluded that ECP is a new but experimental therapeutic alternative for the treatment of the erythrodermal phase of CTCL and cGvHD in allogenic HPTC and that this therapy should be evaluated in the framework of a RCT.
Quality of life (Lansky/Karnofsky play performance score) was reported in 1 study.
The patients in the studies were all refractory to steroids and other immunosuppressive agents, and these drugs were frequently continued concomitantly with ECP.
Criteria for assessment of organ improvement in cGvHD are variable, but PR was typically defined as >50% improvement from baseline parameters and CR as complete resolution of organ involvement.
Followup was variable and incomplete among the studies.
GRADE Quality of Studies – ECP for Refractory cGvHD
As per the GRADE Working Group, overall recommendations consider 4 main factors.
The tradeoffs, taking into account the estimated size of the effect for the main outcome, the confidence limits around those estimates and the relative value placed on the outcome.
The quality of the evidence (Tables 1 and 2).
Translation of the evidence into practice in a specific setting, taking into consideration important factors that could be expected to modify the size of the expected effects such as proximity to a hospital or availability of necessary expertise.
Uncertainty about the baseline risk for the population of interest.
The GRADE Working Group also recommends that incremental costs of healthcare alternatives should be considered explicitly alongside the expected health benefits and harms. Recommendations rely on judgments about the value of the incremental health benefits in relation to the incremental costs. The last column in Table 3 is the overall trade-off between benefits and harms and incorporates any risk/uncertainty.
For refractory erythrodermic CTCL, the overall GRADE and strength of the recommendation is “weak” – the quality of the evidence is “low” (uncertainties due to methodological limitations in the study design in terms of study quality and directness), and the corresponding risk/uncertainty is increased due to an annual budget impact of approximately $1.5M Cdn (based on 30 patients) while the cost-effectiveness of ECP is unknown and difficult to estimate considering that there are no high quality studies of effectiveness. The device is licensed by Health Canada, but the sterile solution of methoxsalen is not licensed.
With an annual budget impact of $1.5 M Cdn (based on 30 patients), and the current expenditure is $1.3M Cdn (for out of country for 7 patients), the potential cost savings based on 30 patients with refractory erythrodermic CTCL is about $3.8 M Cdn (annual).
For refractory cGvHD, the overall GRADE and strength of the recommendation is “weak” – the quality of the evidence is “low” (uncertainties due to methodological limitations in the study design in terms of study quality and directness), and the corresponding risk/uncertainty is increased due to a budget impact of approximately $1.5M Cdn while the cost-effectiveness of ECP is unknown and difficult to estimate considering that there are no high quality studies of effectiveness. Both the device and sterile solution are not licensed by Health Canada for the treatment of cGvHD.
If all the ECP procedures for patients with refractory erythrodermic CTCL and refractory cGvHD were performed in Ontario, the annual budget impact would be approximately $3M Cdn.
Overall GRADE and Strength of Recommendation (Including Uncertainty)
PMCID: PMC3379535  PMID: 23074497
7.  Elevated LDH and paranasal sinus involvement are risk factors for central nervous system involvement in patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma 
Annals of Oncology  2011;22(7):1636-1643.
Background: The incidence and risk factors of central nervous system (CNS) involvement in peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) are still unclear.
Patients and methods: We analyzed 228 patients with PTCLs, excluding cases of extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma and primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, by retrospectively collecting the clinical features and outcomes of the patients.
Results: Twenty events (8.77%, 20/228) of CNS involvement were observed during a median follow-up period of 13.9 months (range 0.03–159.43). Based on univariate analysis, elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level [P = 0.019, relative risk (RR) 5.904, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.334–26.123] and involvement of the paranasal sinus (P = 0.032, RR 3.137, 95% CI 1.105–8.908) adversely affect CNS involvement. In multivariate analysis, both were independently poor prognostic factors for CNS relapse [elevated LDH level: P = 0.011, hazard ratio (HR) 6.716, 95% CI 1.548–29.131; involvement of the paranasal sinus: P = 0.008, HR 3.784, 95% CI 1.420–10.083]. The survival duration of patients with CNS involvement was significantly shorter than that of the patients without CNS involvement (P = 0.009), with median overall survival of 7.60 months (95% CI of 4.92–10.28) versus 27.43 months (95% CI of 0.00–57.38), respectively.
Conclusions: Elevated LDH level and involvement of the paranasal sinus are two risk factors for CNS involvement in patients with PTCLs. Considering the poor prognoses after CNS relapse, prophylaxis should be considered with the presence of any risk factor.
PMCID: PMC3121968  PMID: 21220520
CNS disease; PTCL; prognosis; prophylaxis
8.  Clinical outcomes and prognostic factors in patients with breast diffuse large B cell lymphoma; Consortium for Improving Survival of Lymphoma (CISL) study 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:321.
The breast is a rare extranodal site of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and primary breast lymphoma (PBL) has been arbitrarily defined as disease localized to one or both breasts with or without regional lymph nodes involvement. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and breast involvement, and to find the criteria of PBL reflecting the outcome and prognosis.
We retrospectively analyzed data from 68 patients, newly diagnosed with DLBCL and breast involvement at 16 Korean institutions between January 1994 and June 2009.
Median age at diagnosis was 48 years (range, 20-83 years). Forty-three (63.2%) patients were PBL according to previous arbitrary criteria, sixteen (23.5%) patients were high-intermediate to high risk of international prognostic index. The patients with one extranodal disease in the breast (OED) with or without nodal disease were 49 (72.1%), and those with multiple extranodal disease (MED) were 19 (27.9%). During median follow-up of 41.5 months (range, 2.4-186.0 months), estimated 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 53.7 ± 7.6%, and overall survival (OS) was 60.3 ± 7.2%. The 5-year PFS and OS was significantly higher for patients with the OED group than those with the MED group (5-year PFS, 64.9 ± 8.9% vs. 27.5 ± 11.4%, p = 0.001; 5-year OS, 74.3 ± 7.6% vs. 24.5 ± 13.0%, p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, MED (hazard ratio [HR], 3.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07-12.2) and fewer than four cycles of systemic chemotherapy with or without local treatments (HR, 4.47; 95% CI, 1.54-12.96) were independent prognostic factors for worse OS. Twenty-five (36.8%) patients experienced progression, and the cumulative incidence of progression in multiple extranodal sites or other than breasts and central nervous system was significantly different between the OED group and the MED group (5-year cumulative incidence, 9.7 ± 5.4% vs. 49.0 ± 15.1%, p = 0.001).
Our results show that the patients included in OED group, reflecting different treatment outcome, prognosis and pattern of progression, should be considered as PBL in the future trial. Further studies are warranted to validate our suggested criteria.
PMCID: PMC2927999  PMID: 20569446
9.  Clinicopathological analysis of primary adrenal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: effectiveness of rituximab-containing chemotherapy including central nervous system prophylaxis 
Primary adrenal lymphoma (PAL) is an extremely rare subtype of extranodal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Some researchers have reported some of the characteristics of PAL and its association with poor prognosis; however, the clinicopathological features of PAL remain to be elucidated.
From 2008 to 2011 we experienced seven cases of PAL in our institutions. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical and pathological features of these patients.
The patients ranged in age from 50 to 85 years, with a median of 71 years. The overall male:female ratio was 6:1. All seven patients were diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) pathologically. Bilateral adrenal involvement was confirmed in five patients. The median largest tumor diameter at diagnosis was 58 mm. The Ki-67 index was generally high (>70%). All patients were treated with rituximab-containing chemotherapy, and central nervous system (CNS) prophylaxis was conducted for three patients. One patient with CNS involvement at the time of the diagnosis also received whole-brain radiation. The overall survival rate at two years was 57% (median follow-up; 24.8 months). It is noteworthy that the three patients who received a full course of the rituximab-containing regimen and CNS prophylaxis are currently alive without disease relapse, and that none of the seven patients died due to progression of lymphoma.
Primary adrenal DLBCL can be a clinically aggressive disease entity. Rituximab-containing chemotherapy combined with CNS prophylaxis could be a reasonable option for the treatment of PAL; however, analyses of more PAL cases are needed for the establishment of this strategy.
PMCID: PMC3750298  PMID: 23915571
Primary adrenal lymphoma; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Adrenal insufficiency; Central nervous system infiltration; Rituximab
10.  Initial therapy of mantle cell lymphoma 
Mantle cell lymphoma is a well-recognized distinct clinicopathologic subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The current World Health Organization (WHO) classification subdivides this entity into aggressive and other variants. The disease has a predilection for older males, and patients typically present at an advanced stage with frequent splenomegaly and extranodal involvement including bone marrow, peripheral blood, gastrointestinal, and occasional central nervous system involvement. Early studies of therapy outcomes in this disease revealed that while response rates where high, relapse was expected after a limited period of time. Prolonged survival was uncommon, with initial median survival rates typically in the 3–4-year range. Those with a high proliferative rate, blastoid morphology, and selected clinical features were recognized as having a worse prognosis. Therapeutic approaches have diverged into aggressive therapies with high response rates and promising progression free survival rates, which may be applied to younger healthy patients, and less aggressive approaches. Aggressive therapies include intensive chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplant, which has been shown to be most effective when applied in first remission. Whether these more intense therapies result in improved survival as compared with less aggressive therapies is not well established. Allogeneic transplant has also been investigated, although high treatment-related mortality and the risk of chronic graft versus host disease and the relatively advanced age of this patient population have tempered enthusiasm for this approach. A number of less aggressive therapies have been shown to produce promising results. Consolidation and maintenance strategies are an active area of investigation. A number of newer agents have shown promising activity in relapsed disease, and are being investigated in the front-line setting. Overall survival rates are improving in this disease, with current studies suggesting a median survival of 5 or more years.
PMCID: PMC3573424  PMID: 23556104
chemotherapy; mantle cell lymphoma; stem cell transplant
11.  Primary gastrointestinal lymphoma 
Extranodal lymphoma may arise anywhere outside lymph nodes mostly in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract as non-Hodgkin's disease. We reviewed the clinicopathological features and treatment results of patients with primary GI lymphoma.
Materials and Methods:
A total number of 30 cases with primary GI lymphoma were included in this study. Patients referred to the Radiation Oncology Department of Omid Hospital (Mashhad, Iran) during a 5-year period (2006-11). Clinical, paraclinical, and radiological data was collected from medical records of the patients.
Out of the 30 patients with primary GI lymphoma in the study, 12 were female (40%) and 18 were male (60%) (male to female ratio: 3/2). B symptoms were present in 27 patients (90%). Antidiuretic hormone (LDH) levels were elevated in 9 patients (32.1%). The most common primary site was stomach in 14 cases (46.7%). Other common sites included small intestine and colon each in 8 patients (26.7%). All patients had histopathologically proven non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The most common histologic subtype was diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBL) in 16 patients (53.3%). In addition, 28 patients (93.3%) received chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, prednisolone (CHOP regimen). The median course of chemotherapy was 6 cources. Moreover, 8 patients (26.7%) received radiotherapy with cobalt 60. The median follow-up time was 26 months. The overall 5-year survival rate was 53% and the median survival time was 60 months.
Primary GI lymphoma is commonly seen in stomach and small intestine and mostly is DLBCL or mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma.
PMCID: PMC3634278  PMID: 23626617
Primary Gastrointestinal Lymphoma; Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma; Extranodal Lymphoma
12.  Impact of dexamethasone, etoposide, ifosfamide and carboplatin as concurrent chemoradiotherapy agents for nasal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2013;1(4):680-684.
The nasal type of extranodal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL) is a rare aggressive lymphoma with poor prognosis. The reported 5-year overall survival for patients with localized nasal NKTCL treated with cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin, oncovin and prednisone (CHOP) is <50%. Dexamethasone, etoposide, ifosfamide and carboplatin (DeVIC) chemotherapy was designed as a salvage chemotherapeutic regimen for aggressive lymphoma, comprising multidrug resistance (MDR) non-related agents and etoposide, which is considered to be effective against nasal NKTCL. An experimental chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is currently being designed using DeVIC as the concurrent chemotherapeutic regimen for nasal NKTCL. The aim of this study was to examine the initial outcome of this treatment and evaluate its effectiveness and feasibility. Six patients (age range, 29–82 years; median age, 68 years) were treated with CRT using DeVIC between April, 2004 and February, 2010. The median follow-up was 56 months (range, 11–80 months). All patients were administered 3–6 cycles of full-dose DeVIC regimen. The chemotherapy was administered concurrently with radiotherapy (RT) and was repeated every 3 weeks. RT was performed using 4-MV X-ray and the prescription dose was 46–50 Gy/23–25 fx (median, 50 Gy). After treatment, all patients were followed up at our hospital. A complete remission was achieved in 5 patients (83%) at 1 month after treatment. The 5-year overall survival and disease-free survival rates were 100%. No severe adverse effect (grade ≥3) was reported. In conclusion, the initial results of the experimental CRT with DeVIC for this type of aggressive lymphoma were very encouraging. Further investigation is required on concurrent CRT with 50 Gy/25 fx and 3 cycles of DeVIC comprising non-MDR agents and etoposide for nasal NKTCL.
PMCID: PMC3916130  PMID: 24649228
carboplatin; chemoradiotherapy; dexamethasone; etoposide; extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma; ifosfamide
13.  Primary Systemic Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma in a Single Korean Institution: Clinical Characteristics and Treatment Outcome 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2006;21(4):633-638.
Despite advances in the characterization of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), little data is available on Asian patients. We report here upon single Korean institution's experience regarding the clinical characteristics and outcomes of ALCL. We performed a retrospective study of 32 adults with ALCL. Most of the patients received anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Ann Arbor stage III-IV, B symptoms, high-intermediate/high International Prognostic Index (IPI), and extranodal disease at diagnosis were present in 56%, 44%, 41%, and 63%, respectively. Compared with Western studies, the male/female ratio (4.3) was markedly higher and skin (9%) and bone involvement (9%) were less frequent. The staining results for anaplastic lymphoma kinase were positive in 6 (33%) of 18 cases available. The complete response (CR) rate was 62% (95% CI, 44-80%). With a median follow-up of 51.0 months, 5 yr overall survival was 40±11%. The 3 yr relapse-free survival for the 18 patients who achieved CR was 74±12%. Age, performance status, lactate dehydrogenase, extranodal disease sites number, and IPI were correlated with treatment response and survival. Our data suggest that Korean ALCL patients appear to have a higher male/female ratio, less frequent skin/bone involvement, and lower CR rate compared with those of Western studies.
PMCID: PMC2729883  PMID: 16891805
Lymphoma, Large Cell, Ki-1; CD30-Positive Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma; anaplastic lymphoma kinase; Drug Therapy
14.  A Reappraisal of the Diagnostic and Therapeutic Management of Uncommon Histologies of Primary Ocular Adnexal Lymphoma 
The Oncologist  2013;18(7):876-884.
Lymphoma is the most common malignancy arising in the ocular adnexa, which includes conjunctiva, lachrymal gland, lachrymal sac, eyelids, orbit soft tissue, and extraocular muscles. Ocular adnexal lymphoma (OAL) accounts for 1%–2% of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 5%–15% of extranodal lymphoma. The most common and well-studied histotype is represented by marginal zone B-cell lymphoma. This review covers the prevalence, clinical presentation, behavior, and histological and molecular features of uncommon forms of primary OAL and provides practical recommendations for therapeutic management.
Lymphoma is the most common malignancy arising in the ocular adnexa, which includes conjunctiva, lachrymal gland, lachrymal sac, eyelids, orbit soft tissue, and extraocular muscles. Ocular adnexal lymphoma (OAL) accounts for 1%–2% of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 5%–15% of extranodal lymphoma. Histology, stage, and primary localizations are the most important variables influencing the natural history and therapeutic outcome of these malignancies. Among the various lymphoma variants that could arise in the ocular adnexa, marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (OA-MZL) is the most common one. Other types of lymphoma arise much more rarely in these anatomical sites; follicular lymphoma is the second most frequent histology, followed by diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma. Additional lymphoma entities, like T-cell/natural killer cell lymphomas and Burkitt lymphoma, only occasionally involve orbital structures. Because they are so rare, related literature mostly consists of anecdotal cases included within series focused on OA-MZL and sporadic case reports. This bias hampers a global approach to clinical and molecular properties of these types of lymphoma, with a low level of evidence supporting therapeutic options. This review covers the prevalence, clinical presentation, behavior, and histological and molecular features of uncommon forms of primary OAL and provides practical recommendations for therapeutic management.
PMCID: PMC3720642  PMID: 23814042
Ocular adnexal lymphoma; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Follicular lymphoma; Mantle cell lymphoma; T-cell lymphoma
15.  CD56‐positive haematological neoplasms of the skin: a multicentre study of the Cutaneous Lymphoma Project Group of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2006;60(9):981-989.
Cutaneous lymphomas expressing CD56, a neural cell adhesion molecule, are characterised in most cases by a highly aggressive clinical course and a poor prognosis. However, prognostic subsets within the CD56+ group have been difficult to identify due to the lack of uniform clinicopathological and immunophenotypical criteria.
A multicentre study was conducted by the Cutaneous Lymphoma Task Force of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer to define prognostic parameters and establish diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for CD56+ haematological neoplasms presenting primarily in the skin.
Four different subtypes of lymphoproliferations with CD56 expression were identified: (1) haematodermic neoplasm; (2) skin infiltration as the first manifestation of CD56+ acute myeloid leukaemia; (3) nasal‐type extranodal natural killer/T‐cell lymphoma; and (4) “classical” cases of cutaneous T‐cell lymphoma (CTCL) with co‐expression of the CD56 molecule. Patients in the first three groups had a poor outcome (93% died) with a median survival rate of 11 months (95% CI 2–72 months), whereas all patients with CD56+ CTCL were alive at the last follow‐up.
Results show that CD56+ cutaneous lymphoproliferative disorders, with the exception of CD56+ CTCL have a very poor prognosis. It is therefore clinically important to separate CD56+ CTCL from the remaining CD56+ haematological disorders.
PMCID: PMC1972425  PMID: 17018683
cutaneous lymphoma; CD56; extranodal NK/T‐cell lymphoma; haematodermic neoplasm; CD123
16.  Primary CNS lymphoma other than DLBCL: a descriptive analysis of clinical features and treatment outcomes 
Annals of Hematology  2011;90(12):1391-1398.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) constitutes most primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma (PCNSL), whereas T-cell, low-grade and Burkitt’s lymphomas (BL) are rarely encountered. Due to the paucity of cases, little is known about the clinical features and treatment outcomes of PCNSL other than DLBCL. The objective of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes for patients with PCNSL other than DLBCL. Fifteen patients, newly diagnosed with PCNSLs other than DLBCL between 2000 and 2010, were included. The male to female ratio was 0.67:1 with a median age of diagnosis of 31 years (range 18–59). Pathologic distributions were as follows: peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL; n = 7), marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (MZBCL; n = 1), lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL; n = 2), Burkitt’s lymphoma (n = 1), other unspecified (T-cell lineage, n = 2; B-cell lineage, n = 2). Thirteen patients (87%) showed Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance score (ECOG PS) 1–2. The remaining two were one PTCL patient and one Burkitt’s lymphoma patient. Of the nine patients with T-cell lymphoma, five (56%) had multifocal lesions, and one (20%) with LPL of the five patients with B-cell lymphoma showed a single lesion. Leptomeningeal lymphomatosis was identified in two patients (one with Burkitt’s lymphoma and one with unspecified B-cell lymphoma). Two patients (22%) with T-cell lymphoma died 7.7 and 23.3 months later, respectively, due to disease progression, despite HD-MTX-based therapy. Six patients with T-cell lymphoma (6/9, 66.7%) and four patients with low-grade B-cell lymphoma (4/5, 80%) achieved complete response and have survived without relapse (Table 3). One patient with Burkitt’s lymphoma showed poor clinical features with ECOG PS 3, deep structure, multifocal, and leptomeningeal lymphomatosis, and died 7.6 months after the initiation of treatment. In comparison with previously reported DLBCLs (median OS 6.4 years, 95% CI 3.7–9.1 years), T-cell lymphoma showed equivocal or favorable clinical outcomes and low-grade B-cell lymphomas, such as MZBCL and LPL, had a good prognosis. However, primary CNS Burkitt’s lymphoma presented poor clinical outcomes and showed a comparatively aggressive clinical course. In conclusion, primary CNS lymphoma other than DLBCL occurred more in younger patients and showed a generally good prognosis, except for Burkitt’s lymphoma. Further research on treatment strategies for Burkitt’s lymphoma is needed.
PMCID: PMC3210363  PMID: 21479535
Primary CNS lymphoma; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
17.  Treatment of primary testicular diffuse large B cell lymphoma without prophylactic intrathecal chemotherapy: a single center experience 
Blood research  2014;49(3):170-176.
Primary testicular diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a rare but aggressive extranodal lymphoma, and its relapse in the central nervous system (CNS) is a major concern during treatment. Despite this, the role of intrathecal prophylaxis in primary testicular DLBCL remains controversial.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 14 patients with primary testicular DLBCL diagnosed between November 2000 and June 2012, and analyzed the CNS relapse rate in patients treated without intrathecal prophylaxis. Survival curves were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.
The median age at diagnosis was 57 years (range, 41-79 years). Unilateral testicular involvement was observed in 13 patients. Nine patients had stage I, 1 had stage II, and 4 had stage IV disease. The international prognostic index was low or low-intermediate risk in 12 patients and high-intermediate risk in 2 patients. Thirteen patients underwent orchiectomy. All the patients received systemic chemotherapy without intrathecal prophylaxis, and prophylactic radiotherapy was administered to the contralateral testis in 12 patients. The median follow-up period of surviving patients was 39 months (range, 10-139 months). Median overall survival was not reached and the median progression-free survival was 3.8 years. Four patients experienced relapse, but CNS relapse was observed in only one patient (7.1%) with stage IV disease, 27 months after a complete response.
Even without intrathecal prophylaxis, the rate of relapse in the CNS was lower in the Korean patients with primary testicular DLBCL compared to prior reports.
PMCID: PMC4188782  PMID: 25325036
Diffuse large B cell lymphoma; Intrathecal prophylaxis; Primary testicular lymphoma
18.  The natural history of intravascular lymphomatosis 
Cancer Medicine  2014;3(4):1010-1024.
Intravascular lymphomatosis (IVL) is a rare and clinically devastating form of extranodal B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We performed a comprehensive analysis of the literature on IVL's published between 1959 and 2011 and evaluated the natural history as well as identified prognostic and predictive factors in patients. Nonparametric two-tailed Mann–Whitney U-test and Mantel–Cox log rank test were used to evaluate the survival intervals and prognostic factors. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and chi-squared statistics were carried out to examine treatment-related predictive factors. Of the 740 patients with IVL, 651 (88%) had a diagnosis of B-cell lymphoma, 45 (6%) with T-cell lymphoma, and 12 patients (2%) with NK cell lymphoma. Central nervous system (CNS) IVL had the highest proportion of postmortem diagnosis, 250 (60%) compared to 21 (8%) of skin, 28 (11%) of bone marrow (BM) and spleen, and 17 (7%) of lung IVL's. Age <70 years (P = 0.0073), non-CNS site of initial diagnosis (P = 0.0014), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) <700 (P = 0.0112), and rituximab treatment (P < 0.0001) were favorable prognostic factors. Gender, ethnicity, hemoglobin, BM biopsy, and the type of imaging studies used were not significant. Rituximab and doxorubicin treatment worked significantly better in patients with age >71 and LDH >577 compared to nonrituximab, nondoxorubicin regimens (MANOVA 2 degrees of freedom, P = 0.0345), with a median time from treatment to death of 20.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] 14.0–N/A, n = 14) months versus 2.0 (95%CI 0.5–N/A, n = 5) (χ2 = 4.7, P = 0.0304). Patients with CNS IVL relapsed primarily in the CNS (88%) while same-organ relapse occurred less frequently in skin (23%), BM and spleen (50%) and lung (20%) IVL's. Our results indicate that IVL is primarily a disease of B-lymphoma cells. Timely diagnosis and treatment with rituximab-based chemotherapy improve patient survival. The pattern of recurrence is different between CNS IVL and IVL's in other organs.
PMCID: PMC4303169  PMID: 24931821
Intravascular lymphomatosis; natural history; non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
19.  18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the staging and prognosis of T cell lymphoma 
Leukemia & lymphoma  2013;54(10):2163-2167.
We previously reported that 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography scan (FDG-PET) is almost universally positive in patients with T cell lymphoma. In the present analysis we examined the impact of FDG-PET on the initial staging of peripheral T cell lymphomas (PTCLs), and the prognostic value of interim FDG-PET. This retrospective analysis identified patients with mature T or natural killer (NK) lymphomas who had PET scans as part of initial staging or staging at relapse [(n = 95) (staging cohort)] in the PTCL database at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. A subset of these patients had repeat PET for interim restaging during initial therapy with curative intent [(n = 50) (interim restaging cohort)]. The frequency of specific T cell histologies included in this analysis were: PTCL not otherwise specified (NOS) (n = 35); angioimmunoblastic T cell lymphoma (AITL) (n = 17); anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), ALK-1+ (n = 11) and ALK-1− (n = 12); adult T cell lymphoma/leukemia (ATLL) (n = 7); NK/T cell lymphoma (NKTCL) (n = 10); and enteropathy-associated T cell lymphoma (EATL) (n = 3). In the staging cohort, 77 patients were newly diagnosed, and 18 had relapsed disease. Pretreatment FDG-PET was positive in 96% of patients. PET identified additional disease sites in 47/95 patients (50%) when added to conventional staging. Most frequently identified additional sites were: other nodal (n = 24); bone (n = 10); skin (n = 8); nasopharynx (n = 4); spleen (n = 3); and lung (n = 2). However, FDG-PET modified computed tomography (CT)-based staging in only 5/95 patients (5.2%): two patients were upstaged and three patients were downstaged. FDG-PET-based staging did not alter planned treatment for any patient. Interim restaging with PET was performed after a median of 4 cycles of chemotherapy. In this cohort, treatment regimens included cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone CHOP (n = 19); CHOP/ifosfamide, carboplatin and etoposide (ICE) (n = 26); and other (n = 7). Subsequently, 29 patients were consolidated with either autologous (n = 22) or allogeneic (n = 7) stem cell transplant. After a median follow-up of 3.4 years for surviving patients, those with negative interim PET had superior progression-free survival (PFS) compared to patients with positive interim PET (p = 0.03). There were no differences in overall survival (OS). In PTCL, FDG-PET commonly identifies additional sites of disease but infrequently impacts CT-based staging and does not influence therapy. Interim FDG-PET may predict for PFS. FDG-PET should be integrated into prospective trials to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC3915724  PMID: 23369041
Lymphoma and Hodgkin disease; FDG-PET; T cell lymphoma; prognosis; staging
20.  Intensive Induction Chemotherapy Followed by Early High-Dose Therapy and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Results in Improved Outcome for Patients with Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma: A Single Institution Experience 
Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma is a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which carries a poor prognosis. We report our single-institution experience in the management of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL)- in 14 patients (pts) among whom 7 who remain alive (50%) and in remission at a median follow-up of 66 months. More frequent long-term survival was seen in those treated with a non-CHOP (cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone) induction and consolidative stem cell transplant (SCT).
Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma is a rare form of extranodal non-Hodgkin lymphoma, first recognized as a distinct entity in the Revised European-American Lymphoma classification. Typical presentation includes lymphomatous infiltration of spleen and liver, and peripheral lymphadenopathy is rarely seen. The prognosis is almost uniformly poor, and there are no prospective studies of treatment of HSTCL.
Patients and Methods
For this report, we conducted a retrospective review of all pts who underwent treatment for HSTCL at our institution. Individual chart review was performed to report clinical presentation, management, and outcome.
We identified 14 pts with HSTCL managed at our center, 7 of which remain alive with median follow-up of 65.6 months. Six of 7 received alternative induction chemotherapy regimens such as ICE (ifosfamide, carboplatin, etoposide) or IVAC (ifosfamide, etoposide, high-dose cytarabine) as opposed to CHOP and all surviving pts had proceeded to undergo either autologous or allogeneic SCT.
Our results suggest that use of non-CHOP induction regimen and early use of high dose therapy and SCT consolidation may translate to improved survival for pts with HSTCL.
PMCID: PMC4056251  PMID: 23107915
Peripheral; TCR gamma-delta
21.  Treatment outcomes and survival in patients with primary central nervous system lymphomas treated between 1995 and 2010 – a single centre report 
Radiology and Oncology  2012;46(4):346-353.
Primary central nervous system lymphomas (PCNSL) are rare variants of extranodal non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas that are nowadays primarily treated with high-dose methotrexate or methotrexate-based chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy. The optimal treatment of PCNSL is still unknown and there are differences in clinical practice.
Patients and methods.
With a retrospective research we evaluated our series of patients with PCNSL in regards to the patient’s characteristics, treatment results, disease specific survival and overall survival. Fifty nine patients who attended the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana between 1995 and 2010 were treated according to the protocol that was valid at the time of the patient’s admission. Between 1995 and 1999, the systemic treatment was classical CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, steroids) chemotherapy, and later on high-dose methotrexate either alone or in combination with other agents. From 1999 onwards, radiation therapy was applied according to the patient’s age and response to chemotherapy, prior to that all patients treated with CHOP were also irradiated. Patients ineligible for the systemic treatment were treated with sole radiation therapy.
There was a strong female predominance in our series and the median age at diagnosis was 59.8 years. Patients had predominantly aggressive B cell lymphomas (69.5%), one patient had marginal cell lymphoma and two patients T cell lymphoma. In total, 20.3% of patients were treated just with chemotherapy, 33.9% with combined therapy and 42.4% with sole radiation therapy. The overall response rate to the primary treatment in patients treated with sole chemotherapy was 33.3%, in patients treated with combined therapy 65% and in patients treated only with radiation therapy 56%, respectively. In terms of response duration, significantly better results were achieved with combined therapy or radiation therapy alone compared to sole chemotherapy (p<0.0006). The median overall survival of the whole cohort was 11 months and the overall survival was significantly affected by the patient’s age. The longest overall survival was observed in patients treated with combined therapy (median survival of 39 months). Patients treated just with radiation therapy had a median overall survival of 9 months and those treated with sole chemotherapy of 4.5 months, respectively.
The treatment outcomes in ordinary clinical practice are definitely inferior to the ones reported in clinical trials. The now standard treatment with high-dose methotrexate with or without radiation therapy is sometimes too aggressive and, therefore, a careful selection on the basis of patient’s age, performance status and concomitant diseases of those eligible for such treatment is mandatory. According to our results from a retrospective study, radiation therapy should not be excluded from the primary treatment.
PMCID: PMC3572884  PMID: 23411571
primary central nervous system lymphomas; treatment outcomes; survival
Myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) may cure patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL), but is associated with a high treatment-related mortality (TRM). Reduced intensity and nonmyeloablative (RIC/NST) conditioning regimens aim to lower TRM. We analyzed the outcomes of 143 patients undergoing unrelated donor RIC/NST HCT for relapsed and refractory HL between 1999 and 2004 reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR). Patients were heavily pretreated, including autologous HCT in 89%. With a median follow-up of 25 months, the probability of TRM at day 100 and 2 years was 15% (95% CI 10-21%) and 33% (95% CI 25-41%) respectively. The probabilities of progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 30% and 56% at 1 year and 20% and 37% at 2 years. The presence of extranodal disease and KPS < 90 were significant risk factors for TRM, PFS and OS, whereas chemosensitivity at transplantation was not. Dose intensity of the conditioning regimen (RIC vs NST) did not impact outcomes. Unrelated donor HCT with RIC/NST can salvage some patients with relapsed/refractory HL, but relapse remains a common reason for treatment failure. Clinical studies should be aimed at reducing the incidence of acute Graft-versus-Host Disease and relapse.
PMCID: PMC2929570  PMID: 19135949
unrelated; allogeneic transplantation; Hodgkin Lymphoma
23.  Reduced Intensity Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation using Fludarabine-Melphalan conditioning for Treatment of Mature T-cell Lymphomas 
Bone Marrow Transplantation  2011;47(1):65-72.
Among non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes, T-cell phenotype confers a poor clinical prognosis. For more aggressive histologies, patients frequently present with advanced disease that is inherently chemoresistant. For cutaneous histologies, disease progresses less rapidly, but is debilitating and often incurable long term. Here we report the retrospective analysis of data from 27 patients with mature T-cell lymphoma treated with salvage allo-HCT at the City of Hope using a reduced-intensity fludarabine/melphalan conditioning regimen between the years 2001 and 2008. Eleven of the twenty-seven patients had cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). The majority of patients had advanced disease at the time of transplant (17/27 or 63%). Median followup was 36 months. We observed 2-year overall survival (OS) of 55%, progression-free survival (PFS) of 47%, and cumulative incidence of relapse/progression and non-relapse mortality (NRM) of 30% and 22%, respectively. For CTCL, patients had a 2-yr PFS of 45% and NRM of 27% compared to patients with other histologies, who had PFS of 62% and NRM of 19%. Overall, our results suggest that meaningful long term survival rates and disease control can be achieved with acceptable non-relapse mortality in patients with mature T-cell lymphomas, including CTCL using reduced intensity conditioning with melphalan and fludarabine.
PMCID: PMC3130104  PMID: 21358679
T-cell lymphoma; reduced intensity conditioning; allogeneic transplant
24.  Multicenter retrospective analysis of 581 patients with primary intestinal non-hodgkin lymphoma from the Consortium for Improving Survival of Lymphoma (CISL) 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:321.
Primary intestinal non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a heterogeneous disease with regard to anatomic and histologic distribution. Thus, analyses focusing on primary intestinal NHL with large number of patients are warranted.
We retrospectively analyzed 581 patients from 16 hospitals in Korea for primary intestinal NHL in this retrospective analysis. We compared clinical features and treatment outcomes according to the anatomic site of involvement and histologic subtypes.
B-cell lymphoma (n = 504, 86.7%) was more frequent than T-cell lymphoma (n = 77, 13.3%). Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) was the most common subtype (n = 386, 66.4%), and extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) was the second most common subtype (n = 61, 10.5%). B-cell lymphoma mainly presented as localized disease (Lugano stage I/II) while T-cell lymphomas involved multiple intestinal sites. Thus, T-cell lymphoma had more unfavourable characteristics such as advanced stage at diagnosis, and the 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was significantly lower than B-cell lymphoma (28% versus 71%, P < 0.001). B symptoms were relatively uncommon (20.7%), and bone marrow invasion was a rare event (7.4%). The ileocecal region was the most commonly involved site (39.8%), followed by the small (27.9%) and large intestines (21.5%). Patients underwent surgery showed better OS than patients did not (5-year OS rate 77% versus 57%, P < 0.001). However, this beneficial effect of surgery was only statistically significant in patients with B-cell lymphomas (P < 0.001) not in T-cell lymphomas (P = 0.460). The comparison of survival based on the anatomic site of involvement showed that ileocecal regions had a better 5-year overall survival rate (72%) than other sites in consistent with that ileocecal region had higher proportion of patients with DLBCL who underwent surgery. Age > 60 years, performance status ≥ 2, elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase, Lugano stage IV, presence of B symptoms, and T-cell phenotype were independent prognostic factors for survival.
The survival of patients with ileocecal region involvement was better than that of patients with involvement at other sites, which might be related to histologic distribution, the proportion of tumor stage, and need for surgical resection.
PMCID: PMC3160411  PMID: 21798075
intestine; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; prognosis; histopathology
We determined treatment-related mortality (TRM), progression free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) after a second autologous HCT (HCT2) for patients with lymphoma relapse after a prior HCT (HCT1). Outcomes for patients with either Hodgkin lymphoma (HL, n=21) or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL, n=19) receiving HCT2 reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) were analyzed. The median age at HCT2 was 38 years (range, 16–61) and 22 (58%) patients had a Karnofsky performance score less than 90. HCT2 was performed >1 year after HCT1 in 82%. The probability of TRM at day 100 was 15% (95% CI, 3–22%). The 1, 3 and 5 yr probabilities of PFS were 50% (95% CI, 34–66%), 36% (95% CI, 21–52%) and 30% (95% CI, 16–46%), respectively. Corresponding probabilities of survival were 65% (95% CI, 50–79%), 36% (95% CI, 22–52%) and 30% (95% CI, 17–46%), respectively. At a median follow up of 72 months (range, 12–124 months) after HCT2, 29 patients (73%) have died, 18 (62%) secondary to relapsed lymphoma. The outcomes of patients with HL and NHL were similar. In summary, this series represents the largest reported group of patients with relapsed lymphomas undergoing SCT2 following failed SCT1, and with long-term follow-up. Our series suggests that SCT2 is feasible in patients relapsing after prior HCT1, with a lower TRM than that reported for allogeneic transplant in this setting. HCT2 should be considered for patients with relapsed HL or NHL after HCT1 without alternative allogeneic stem cell transplant options.
PMCID: PMC3353768  PMID: 18640574
second autologous transplant; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Hodgkin lymphoma

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