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To assess the efficacy and toxicity of chemotherapy consisting of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin (Adriamycin), vincristine, and dexamethasone (CHOD) plus bis-chloronitrosourea (BCNU), cytosine arabinoside, and methotrexate (BVAM) followed by whole-brain irradiation (WBRT) for patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL).
Methods and Materials
Patients 70 years old and younger with newly diagnosed, biopsy-proven PCNSL received one cycle of CHOD followed by two cycles of BVAM. Patients then received WBRT, 30.6 Gy, if a complete response was evoked, or 50.4 Gy if the response was less than complete; both doses were given in 1.8-Gy daily fractions. The primary efficacy endpoint was 1-year survival.
Thirty-six patients (19 men, 17 women) enrolled between 1995 and 2000. Median age was 60.5 years (range, 34 to 69 years). Thirty (83%) patients had baseline Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance scores of 0 to 1. All 36 patients were eligible for survival and response evaluations. Median time to progression was 12.3 months, and median survival was 18.5 months. The percentages of patients alive at 1, 2, and 3 years were 64%, 36%, and 33%, respectively. The best response was complete response in 10 patients and immediate progression in 7 patients. Ten (28%) patients had at least one grade 3 or higher neurologic toxicity.
This regimen did improve the survival of PCNSL patients but also caused substantial toxicity. The improvement in survival is less than that reported with high-dose methotrexate-based therapies.
PMCID: PMC4335722  PMID: 20800387
Primary central nervous system lymphoma; Chemotherapy; Whole-brain radiotherapy
2.  Rates and Outcomes of Follicular Lymphoma Transformation in the Immunochemotherapy Era: A Report From the University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic Specialized Program of Research Excellence Molecular Epidemiology Resource 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2013;31(26):3272-3278.
This study sought to characterize transformation incidence and outcome for patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) in a prospective observational series begun after diffusion of rituximab use.
Patients and Methods
Patients with newly diagnosed FL were prospectively enrolled onto the University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic Specialized Program of Research Excellence Molecular Epidemiology Resource from 2002 to 2009. Patients were actively followed for re-treatment, clinical or pathologic transformation, and death. Risk of transformation was analyzed via time to transformation by using death as a competing risk.
In all, there were 631 patients with newly diagnosed grade 1 to 3a FL who had a median age at enrollment of 60 years. At a median follow-up of 60 months (range, 11 to 110 months), 79 patients had died, and 60 patients developed transformed lymphoma, of which 51 were biopsy proven. The overall transformation rate at 5 years was 10.7%, with an estimated rate of 2% per year. Increased lactate dehydrogenase was associated with increased risk of transformation. Transformation rate at 5 years was highest in patients who were initially observed and lowest in patients who initially received rituximab monotherapy (14.4% v 3.2%; P = .021). Median overall survival following transformation was 50 months and was superior in patients with transformation greater than 18 months after FL diagnosis compared with patients with earlier transformation (5-year overall survival, 66% v 22%; P < .001).
Follicular transformation rates in the immunochemotherapy era are similar to risk of death without transformation and may be lower than reported in older series. Post-transformation prognosis is substantially better than described in older series. Initial management strategies may influence the risk of transformation.
PMCID: PMC3757293  PMID: 23897955
3.  A genome-wide association study of marginal zone lymphoma shows association to the HLA region 
Vijai, Joseph | Wang, Zhaoming | Berndt, Sonja I. | Skibola, Christine F. | Slager, Susan L. | de Sanjose, Silvia | Melbye, Mads | Glimelius, Bengt | Bracci, Paige M. | Conde, Lucia | Birmann, Brenda M. | Wang, Sophia S. | Brooks-Wilson, Angela R. | Lan, Qing | de Bakker, Paul I. W. | Vermeulen, Roel C. H. | Portlock, Carol | Ansell, Stephen M. | Link, Brian K. | Riby, Jacques | North, Kari E. | Gu, Jian | Hjalgrim, Henrik | Cozen, Wendy | Becker, Nikolaus | Teras, Lauren R. | Spinelli, John J. | Turner, Jenny | Zhang, Yawei | Purdue, Mark P. | Giles, Graham G. | Kelly, Rachel S. | Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne | Ennas, Maria Grazia | Monnereau, Alain | Bertrand, Kimberly A. | Albanes, Demetrius | Lightfoot, Tracy | Yeager, Meredith | Chung, Charles C. | Burdett, Laurie | Hutchinson, Amy | Lawrence, Charles | Montalvan, Rebecca | Liang, Liming | Huang, Jinyan | Ma, Baoshan | Villano, Danylo J. | Maria, Ann | Corines, Marina | Thomas, Tinu | Novak, Anne J. | Dogan, Ahmet | Liebow, Mark | Thompson, Carrie A. | Witzig, Thomas E. | Habermann, Thomas M. | Weiner, George J. | Smith, Martyn T. | Holly, Elizabeth A. | Jackson, Rebecca D. | Tinker, Lesley F. | Ye, Yuanqing | Adami, Hans-Olov | Smedby, Karin E. | De Roos, Anneclaire J. | Hartge, Patricia | Morton, Lindsay M. | Severson, Richard K. | Benavente, Yolanda | Boffetta, Paolo | Brennan, Paul | Foretova, Lenka | Maynadie, Marc | McKay, James | Staines, Anthony | Diver, W. Ryan | Vajdic, Claire M. | Armstrong, Bruce K. | Kricker, Anne | Zheng, Tongzhang | Holford, Theodore R. | Severi, Gianluca | Vineis, Paolo | Ferri, Giovanni M. | Ricco, Rosalia | Miligi, Lucia | Clavel, Jacqueline | Giovannucci, Edward | Kraft, Peter | Virtamo, Jarmo | Smith, Alex | Kane, Eleanor | Roman, Eve | Chiu, Brian C. H. | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Wu, Xifeng | Cerhan, James R. | Offit, Kenneth | Chanock, Stephen J. | Rothman, Nathaniel | Nieters, Alexandra
Nature Communications  2015;6:5751.
Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is the third most common subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Here we perform a two-stage GWAS of 1,281 MZL cases and 7,127 controls of European ancestry and identify two independent loci near BTNL2 (rs9461741, P=3.95 × 10−15) and HLA-B (rs2922994, P=2.43 × 10−9) in the HLA region significantly associated with MZL risk. This is the first evidence that genetic variation in the major histocompatibility complex influences MZL susceptibility.
Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is a common subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Here the authors carry out a two-stage genome-wide association study in over 8,000 Europeans and identify two new MZL risk loci at chromosome 6p, implicating the major histocompatibility complex in the disease for the first time.
PMCID: PMC4287989  PMID: 25569183
While the International Prognostic Score (IPS) is the gold standard for risk-stratifying patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), these criteria do not accurately predict outcome. As cytokines are critically involved in driving cHL, we tested whether pretreatment serum cytokine levels could provide additional prognostic information.
Experimental Design:
Thirty cytokines were measured in pretreatment serum from 140 cHL patients and compared with 50 non-lymphoma controls. Patients were followed for event-free and overall survival, and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess the association of individual cytokines and the cytokine profiles with outcome via unadjusted and IPS-adjusted hazard ratios (HR).
Twelve cytokines (EGF, FGFb, GCSF, HGF, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-2R, IP-10, MIG, TNFa and VEGF) were significantly (p<0.05) higher in cHL patients than controls; elevated levels of HGF, IL-6, IL-2R, IP-10 and MIG were all associated with poorer event-free survival (EFS). Only IL-2R (p=0.002) and IL-6 (p<0.001) were independently prognostic. Patients with increased IL-6 and IL-2R had a significantly higher risk of early relapse and death, a finding that remained significant even after IPS-based risk stratification. While elevated IL-6 and IL-2R correlated with the IPS, sCD30 and TARC levels, the 2-cytokine model remained independently predictive of prognosis.
Elevated pretreatment serum cytokines are associated with increased disease relapse and inferior survival in cHL. Thus, the pretreatment cytokine profile, particularly serum levels of IL-6 and IL-2R, may be used to identify cHL patients at high risk for early disease relapse.
PMCID: PMC3867576  PMID: 24141626
5.  Randomized Phase III Trial of ABVD Versus Stanford V With or Without Radiation Therapy in Locally Extensive and Advanced-Stage Hodgkin Lymphoma: An Intergroup Study Coordinated by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (E2496) 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2012;31(6):684-691.
Although ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine) has been established as the standard of care in patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma, newer regimens have been investigated, which have appeared superior in early phase II studies. Our aim was to determine if failure-free survival was superior in patients treated with the Stanford V regimen compared with ABVD.
Patients and Methods
The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, along with the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, the Southwest Oncology Group, and the Canadian NCIC Clinical Trials Group, conducted this randomized phase III trial in patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma. Stratification factors included extent of disease (localized v extensive) and International Prognostic Factors Project Score (0 to 2 v 3 to 7). The primary end point was failure-free survival (FFS), defined as the time from random assignment to progression, relapse, or death, whichever occurred first. Overall survival, a secondary end point, was measured from random assignment to death as a result of any cause. This design provided 87% power to detect a 33% reduction in FFS hazard rate, or a difference in 5-year FFS of 64% versus 74% at two-sided .05 significance level.
There was no significant difference in the overall response rate between the two arms, with complete remission and clinical complete remission rates of 73% for ABVD and 69% for Stanford V. At a median follow-up of 6.4 years, there was no difference in FFS: 74% for ABVD and 71% for Stanford V at 5 years (P = .32).
ABVD remains the standard of care for patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma.
PMCID: PMC3574266  PMID: 23182987
6.  Cytokine gene polymorphisms and progression-free survival in classical Hodgkin lymphoma by EBV status: Results from two independent cohorts 
Cytokine  2013;64(2):523-531.
Cytokines are important immune mediators of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL) pathogenesis, and circulating levels at diagnosis may help predict prognosis. Germline single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in immune genes have been correlated with cytokine production and function.
We investigated whether selected germline SNPs in IL10 (rs1800890, rs1800896, rs1800871, rs1800872), TNFA (rs1800629), IL6 (rs1800795), ILRN (rs419598), INFG (rs2430561) and CCL17 (rs223828) were associated with circulating levels of related cytokines at diagnosis and progression-free survival (PFS) in CHL. Patients were from France (GELA, N = 464; median age = 32 years) and the United States (Iowa/Mayo Specialized Program Of Research Excellence [SPORE], N = 239; median age = 38 years); 22% of 346 CHL cases with EBV tumor status were positive.
There was no association with any of the SNPs with cytokine levels. Overall, there was no association of any of the SNPs with PFS. In exploratory analyses by EBV status, TNFA rs1800629 (HRAA/AG = 2.41; 95%CI, 1.17–4.94) was associated with PFS in EBV-negative GELA patients, with similar trends in the SPORE patients (HRAA/AG = 1.63; 95%CI, 0.61–4.40). In a meta-analysis of the two studies, TNFA (HRAA/AG = 2.11; 95%CI, 1.18–3.77; P = 0.01) was statistically significant, and further adjustment for the international prognostic system did not alter this result.
This study showed that germline variation in TNFA was associated with CHL prognosis for EBV-negative patients, which will require confirmation. These results support broader studies on the differential impact of genetic variation in immune genes on EBV-positive vs. EBV-negative CHL pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4017856  PMID: 24008079
Hodgkin lymphoma; Cytokines; Polymorphism; TNFA; EBV
7.  FCGR2A and FCGR3A polymorphisms in classical Hodgkin lymphoma by EBV status 
Leukemia & lymphoma  2013;54(11):2571-2573.
PMCID: PMC3999590  PMID: 23597143
FCGR2A; FCGR3A; polymorphism; EBV; Hodgkin Lymphoma
8.  CXCR5 polymorphisms in non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk and prognosis 
CXCR5 [chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 5; also known as Burkitt lymphoma receptor 1 (BCR1)] is expressed on mature B-cells, subsets of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells, and skin-derived migratory dendritic cells. Together with its ligand, CXCL13, CXCR5 is involved in guiding B-cells into the B-cell zones of secondary lymphoid organs as well as T-cell migration. This study evaluated the role of common germline genetic variation in CXCR5 in the risk and prognosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) using a clinic-based study of 1521 controls and 2694 NHL cases including 710 chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL), 586 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), 588 follicular lymphoma (FL), 137 mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), 230 marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) and 158 peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). Of the ten CXCR5 tag SNPs in our study, five were associated with risk of NHL, with rs1790192 having the strongest association (OR=1.19, 95%CI 1.08–1.30; p=0.0003). This SNP was most strongly associated with the risk of FL (OR=1.44, 95%CI 1.25–1.66; p=3.1×10−7), with a lower degree of association with DLBCL (OR=1.16, 95%CI 1.01–1.33; p=0.04) and PTCL (OR=1.29, 95%CI 1.02–1.64; p=0.04) but no association with the risk of MCL or MZL. For FL patients that were observed as initial disease management, the number of minor alleles of rs1790192 was associated with better event-free survival (EFS) (HR=0.64; 95%CI 0.47–0.87; p=0.004). These results provide additional evidence for a role of host genetic variation in CXCR5 in lymphomagenesis, particularly for FL.
PMCID: PMC3758443  PMID: 23812490
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; SNPs; prognosis; prospective cohort; case-control
9.  Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (Richter Syndrome) in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia: A Cohort Study of Newly Diagnosed Patients 
British journal of haematology  2013;162(6):774-782.
Nearly all information about patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) who develop diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (Richter syndrome [RS]) is derived from retrospective case series or patients treated on clinical trials. We used the Mayo Clinic CLL Database to identify patients with newly diagnosed CLL (1/2000–7/2011). Individuals who developed biopsy-proven RS during follow-up were identified. After median follow-up of 4 years, 37/1641 (2.3%) CLL patients developed RS. The rate of RS was approximately 0.5%/year. Risk of RS was associated with advanced Rai stage at diagnosis (p<0.001), high-risk FISH (p<0.0001), unmutated IGHV (p=0.003), and expression of ZAP-70 (p=0.02) and CD38 (p=0.001). The rate of RS doubled in patients treated for CLL (1%/year). Stereotyped B-cell receptors (odds-ratio=4.2; p=0.01) but not VH4–39 was associated with increased risk of RS. Treatment with combination of purine analogues and alkylating agents increased the risk of RS 3-fold (odds-ratio= 3.26, p=0.0003). Median survival after RS diagnosis was 2.1 years. The RS prognosis score stratified patients into three risk groups with median survivals of 0.5 years, 2.1 years and not reached. Both underlying characteristics of the CLL clone and subsequent CLL therapy influence the risk of RS. Survival after RS remains poor and new therapies are needed.
PMCID: PMC4098845  PMID: 23841899
transformation; aggressive lymphoma; stem cell transplantation; purine analogues; RS survival score
10.  The Clinical Spectrum of Castleman's Disease 
American journal of hematology  2012;87(11):997-1002.
Castleman Disease (CD) is a rare, poorly understood lymphoproliferative disease. The spectrum of symptoms and course of disease are broad, but there is no large study describing the natural history of this disease. Basic clinic and laboratory data from the records of 113 patients with CD evaluated at the Mayo Clinic and University of Nebraska were abstracted. The impact of these variables on overall survival (OS) from time of diagnosis was evaluated. Sixty patients had multicentric disease. Of the patients with multicentric CD, 32% had criteria sufficient for a diagnosis of POEMS syndrome. For all patients, 2, 5, and 10-year OS was 92%, 76%, 59%. Most of the factors identified as risk factors for death on univariate analysis co-segregated with diagnostic criteria for POEMS syndrome, which supported the concept of 4 categories of CD, which are (along with their 5-year OS): 1) unicentric CD (91%); 2) multicentric CD associated with the osteosclerotic variant of POEMS syndrome (90%); 3); multicentric CD without POEMS syndrome (65%); and 4) multicentric CD with POEMS syndrome without osteosclerotic lesions (27%). We have demonstrated that CD represents a spectrum of disease that can be differentiated by simple prognostic factors that provide a framework for further study.
PMCID: PMC3900496  PMID: 22791417
Castleman's Disease; myeloma; lymphoma
11.  A Phase I Trial of Immunostimulatory CpG 7909 Oligodeoxynucleotide and 90Yttrium Ibritumomab Tiuxetan Radioimmunotherapy for Relapsed B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 
American journal of hematology  2013;88(7):589-593.
Radioimmunotherapy (RIT) for relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma produces overall response rates (ORR) of 80% with mostly partial remissions. Synthetic CpG oligonucleotides change the phenotype of malignant B-cells, are immunostimulatory, and can produce responses when injected intratumorally and combined with conventional radiation. In this phase I trial we tested systemic administration of both CpG and RIT. Eligible patients had biopsy-proven previously treated CD20+ B-cell NHL and met criteria for RIT. Patients received rituximab 250 mg/m2 days 1,8, and 15; 111In-ibritumomab tiuxetan days 1, 8; CpG 7909 days 6, 13, 20, 27; and 0.4 mCi/kg of 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan day 15. The doses of CpG 7909 tested were 0.08, 0.16, 0.32 (six patients each) and 0.48 mg/kg (12 patients) IV over 2 hours without dose limiting toxicity. The ORR was 93% (28/30) with 63% (19/30) complete remission (CR); median progression free survival of 42.7 months (95% CI 18-NR); and median duration of response (DR) of 35 months (4.6-76+). Correlative studies demonstrated a decrease in IL10 and TNFα, and an increase in IL1β, in response to therapy. CpG 7909 at a dose of 0.48 mg/kg is safe with standard RIT and produces a high CR rate and long DR; these results warrant confirmation.
PMCID: PMC3951424  PMID: 23619698
lymphoma; radioimmunotherapy; rituximab; ibritumomab tiuxetan; CpG 7909
12.  SYK Inhibition Modulates Distinct PI3K/AKT-dependent Survival Pathways and Cholesterol Biosynthesis in Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphomas 
Cancer cell  2013;23(6):826-838.
B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway components represent promising treatment targets in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and additional B-cell tumors. BCR signaling activates spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) and downstream pathways including PI3K/AKT and NF-κB. In previous studies, chemical SYK blockade selectively decreased BCR signaling and induced apoptosis of BCR-dependent DLBCLs. Herein, we characterize distinct SYK/PI3K-dependent survival pathways in DLBCLs with high or low baseline NF-κB activity including selective repression of the pro-apoptotic HRK protein in NF-κB-low tumors. We also define SYK/PI3K-dependent cholesterol biosynthesis as a feed-forward mechanism of maintaining the integrity of BCRs in lipid rafts in DLBCLs with low or high NF-κB. In addition, SYK amplification and PTEN deletion are identified as selective genetic alterations in primary “BCR”-type DLBCLs.
PMCID: PMC3700321  PMID: 23764004
13.  Bevacizumab and CHOP (A-CHOP) in Combination for Patients with Peripheral T-Cell or Natural Killer Cell Neoplasms: An Eastern Cooperative Group Study (E2404) 
Leukemia & lymphoma  2013;55(4):768-772.
Peripheral T-cell (PTCL) and NK cell lymphomas have poor survival with conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. Because angiogenesis plays an important role in the biology of PTCL, a fully humanized anti-VEGF antibody, bevacizumab (A), was studied in combination with standard CHOP chemotherapy (ACHOP) to evaluate its potential to improve outcome in these patients.
Patients were treated with 6–8 cycles of ACHOP followed by 8 doses of maintenance A (15 mg/kg every 21 days). 46 patients were enrolled on this phase 2 study from July 2006 through March 2009. 44 patients were evaluable for toxicity and 39 were evaluable for response, progression and survival.
A total of 324 cycles (range: 2–16, median 7) were administered to 39 evaluable patients and only 9 completed all planned treatment. The overall response rate was 90% with 19 (49%) CR/CRu, 16 (41%) PR. The 1-year progression free survival (PFS) rate was 44% at a median follow-up of 3 years. The median PFS and overall survival (OS) rates were 7.7 and 22 months, respectively. Twenty-three patients died (21 from lymphoma, 2 while in remission). Grade 3 or 4 toxicities included febrile neutropenia (n=8), anemia (n=3), thrombocytopenia (n=5), congestive heart failure (n= 4), venous thrombosis (n=3), gastrointestinal hemorrhage /perforation (n=2), infection (n=8), and fatigue (n=6). Despite a high overall response rate, the ACHOP regimen failed to result in durable remissions and was associated with significant toxicities. Studies of novel therapeutics are needed for this patient population, whose clinical outcome remains poor.
PMCID: PMC3872505  PMID: 23786456
Lymphoma and Hodgkin disease; Chemotherapeutic approaches; Immunotherapeutic approaches
14.  Inherited genetic variation and overall survival following follicular lymphoma 
American Journal of Hematology  2012;87(7):724-726.
Follicular lymphoma (FL) has variable progression and survival, and improved identification of patients at high risk for progression would aid in identifying patients most likely to benefit from alternative therapy. In a sample of 244 FL cases identified during a population-based case-control study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), we examined 6,679 tag SNPs in 488 gene regions for associations with overall FL survival. Over a median follow-up of 89 months with 65 deaths in this preliminary study, we identified 5 gene regions (BMP7, GALNT12, DUSP2, GADD45B, and ADAM17) that were associated with overall survival from FL. Results did not meet the criteria for statistical significance after adjustment for multiple hypothesis testing. These results, which support a role for host factors in determining the variable progression of FL, serve as an initial examination that can inform future studies of genetic variation and FL survival. However, they require replication in independent populations, as well as assessment in rituximab-treated patients.
PMCID: PMC3392094  PMID: 22473939
follicular lymphoma; genetic variation; survival; tag SNP; case-control study
16.  The Association between Early Life and Adult Body Mass Index and Physical Activity with Risk of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: Impact of Gender 
Annals of epidemiology  2012;22(12):855-862.
To evaluate the association of body mass index (BMI) and physical activity (PA) during adulthood and at age 18 with risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
We enrolled 950 newly diagnosed NHL patients and 1146 frequency-matched clinic-based controls. Height, weight, and PA (recent adult and at age 18) were self-reported. Odds ratios (OR), 95% confidence intervals (CI), and tests for trend were estimated using unconditional logistic regression adjusted for age, gender, and residence.
BMI at age 18 was associated with an increased NHL risk (OR=1.38 for highest vs. lowest quartile, p-trend=0.0012), which on stratified analysis was specific to females (OR=1.90, p-trend=0.00025). There was no association of adult BMI with NHL risk. Higher physical activity in adulthood (OR=1.03, p-trend=0.85) or at age 18 (OR=0.88, 95%CI: 0.72–1.07) was not associated with risk, but there was an inverse association for adult physical activity that was specific to females (OR=0.71, p-trend=0.039). Only BMI at age 18 remained significantly associated with NHL risk when modeled together with adult or age 18 physical activity. There was little evidence for heterogeneity in these results for the common NHL subtypes.
Early adult BMI may be of greatest relevance to NHL risk, particularly in females.
PMCID: PMC3513768  PMID: 23146413
body mass index; exercise; lymphoma; non-Hodgkin; etiology; case-control studies
17.  Pretreatment Circulating Serum Cytokines Associated with Follicular and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma: A Clinic-Based Case-Control Study 
Cytokine  2012;60(3):882-889.
Abnormal immune function is a key factor in predisposition to non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We evaluated the association of 30 cytokines individually and as a profile with diffuse large B-cell (DLBCL) and follicular (FL) lymphomas.
We used a multiplexed assay to measure 30 cytokine concentrations in pre-treatment serum in a case-control study of 234 FL, 188 DLBCL, and 400 control participants. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for age and sex, and polytomous regression was used to evaluate heterogeneity between FL and DLBCL. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to assess cytokine profiles associated with FL and DLBCL.
In single cytokine modeling, we found that 12 of the 30 circulating serum cytokines were significantly (P<0.05) associated with FL and/or DLBCL after accounting for multiple testing (q<0.05). Soluble IL-2R (sIL-2R) had the strongest association with both FL (OR=6.0 for highest versus lowest tertile, 95% CI 3.8–9.5; p-trend=1.8 × 10−21) and DLBCL (OR=7.6, 95% CI 4.5–13.1; p-trend=7.2 × 10−20). IL1RA and IL-12p40 also showed similar associations for DLBCL and FL. In contrast, HGF, MIG, and MIP-1α had a stronger association with DLBCL compared to FL, and IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IFN-γ, IP-10, and VEGF were only statistically significantly associated with DLBCL after accounting for multiple testing. However, in PCA modeling, a cytokine profile based on sIL-2R, IL-1RA, MIG, IP-10, IL-8, and IL-12p40 explained most of the variability between controls and both FL and DLBCL.
We identified some single cytokines unique to DLBCL, but overall cytokine associations were more similar than distinct for DLBCL and FL. While these data are limited by concerns of reverse causality, they do suggest cytokines and cytokine profiles that can be prioritized in future studies.
PMCID: PMC3483382  PMID: 23010502
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; biomarkers; cytokines; case-control
18.  Activity of Topotecan 21-Day Infusion in Patients with Previously Treated Large Cell Lymphoma: Long-term follow-up of an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Study (E5493) 
Leukemia & lymphoma  2012;53(6):1137-1142.
The purpose of this study was to determine the activity of topotecan given by 21-day continuous infusion in patients previously treated with one prior therapy for a diffuse large cell lymphoma or immunoblastic lymphoma. Patients with appropriate histology and measurable disease who had been treated with one prior chemotherapy regimen were eligible for study. Slides of tumor biopsies were submitted for central review of pathology. Patients were required to have ECOG performance status of 0, 1, or 2 and adequate bone marrow function. Patients were treated with continuous infusion topotecan, 0.4 mg/m2/day × 21 days. Therapy could be escalated to 0.5 and then 0.6 mg/m2/day in subsequent cycles if there was no dose limiting toxicity at the initial dose level. Patients were treated with 2 cycles after achieving complete response or until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity occurred. Thirty seven patients were enrolled, however, only 26 cases were eligible due to performance status of > 2 (2), more than one prior chemotherapy (1), and wrong histology on review (8). Due to the unexpectedly high ineligibility rate, two sets of analysis were done for all the 37 patients enrolled and for the 26 eligible patients, respectively. Of the 37 patients (15 males and 22 females), international prognostic index included 11% low risk, 30% low-intermediate risk; 46% high-intermediate risk, and 8% high risk. The median follow up was 77 months. A total of 136 cycles of therapy were given with a median of 3 cycles per patient. Grade 4 toxicities included: 14% grade 4 thrombocytopenia; 14% grade 4 granulocytopenia, 8% leukopenia, 3% each anemia, hemorrhage, infection, vomiting, thrombosis, liver toxicity, and neuromotor toxicity. The response analysis including all 37 patients showed 5 complete remissions (CR) and 4 partial remissions (PR) for a total response rate of 24% (90% two-stage confidence interval 13–39%). Median progression free survival (PFS) was 3.7 months, with one and two year PFS of 21% and 6% respectively (90% confidence interval 11–34% and 2–15%). Median overall survival (OS) was 10.5 months, with one and two year OS 41% and 27% respectively (90% confidence interval 27–53% and 16–39%). Analysis including only eligible patient showed similar response rates and survival outcomes. Single agent topotecan has moderate activity for previously treated high grade lymphoma equivalent to that of several newer agents, and should be considered for incorporation into multi-drug salvage chemotherapy programs.
PMCID: PMC3568670  PMID: 22111940
19.  A Two-Stage Evaluation of Genetic Variation in Immune and Inflammation Genes with Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Identifies New Susceptibility Locus in 6p21.3 Region 
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a malignancy of lymphocytes, and there is growing evidence for a role of germline genetic variation in immune genes in NHL etiology.
To identify susceptibility immune genes, we conducted a 2-stage analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 1,253 genes using the Immune and Inflammation Panel. In Stage 1, we genotyped 7,670 SNPs in 425 NHL cases and 465 controls, and in Stage 2 we genotyped the top 768 SNPs on an additional 584 cases and 768 controls. The association of individual SNPs with NHL risk from a log-additive model was assessed using the Odds Ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
In the pooled analysis, only the TAP2 coding SNP rs241447 (MAF=0.26; Thr655Ala) at 6p21.3 (OR=1.34, 95%CI 1.17-1.53) achieved statistical significance after accounting for multiple testing (p=3.1 × 10−5). The TAP2 SNP was strongly associated with follicular lymphoma (FL, OR=1.82, 95%CI 1.46-2.26; p=6.9 × 10−8), and was independent of other known loci (rs10484561 and rs2647012) from this region. The TAP2 SNP was also associated with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL, OR=1.38, 95% CI 1.08-1.77; p=0.011), but not chronic lymphocytic leukemia (OR=1.08; 95% CI 0.88-1.32). Higher TAP2 expression was associated with the risk allele in both FL and DLBCL tumors.
Genetic variation in TAP2 was associated with NHL risk overall, and FL risk in particular, and this was independent of other established loci from 6p21.3.
Genetic variation in antigen presentation of HLA class I molecules may play a role in lymphomagenesis.
PMCID: PMC3467356  PMID: 22911334
genetics; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; immune function; single nucleotide polymorphisms
20.  Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use among Long-Term Survivors: A Pilot Study 
American journal of hematology  2009;84(12):795-798.
No published survey has specifically addressed the beliefs, knowledge, and usage of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in long-term (5 to 20 years) lymphoma survivors alone. In this pilot project, 95 subjects were randomly selected from a population of 2,475 long-term lymphoma survivors and mailed a questionnaire. The median time from lymphoma diagnosis to completion of the questionnaire was 11 years (range 6-20). Overall, 68% (95% CI: 54-80%) of the long-term lymphoma survivors reported that they have used CAM, a rate higher than the estimated usage rate reported for the general population The most commonly used modalities were chiropractic (39%, 95% CI: 27-53%) and massage therapy (21%, 95% CI: 12-34%). Less than 10% used meditation (5%, 95% CI: 1-15%) and relaxation (7%, 95% CI: 2-17%). In terms of common herbal usage, 5% (95% CI: 1-15%) had used St. John’s Wort and 7% (95% CI: 2-17%) had used shark cartilage. While none of the patients reported that CAM usage was directed specifically towards treating their lymphoma, 4% (95% CI: 0-12%) of patients reported that CAM could cure cancer, and 14% (95% CI: 6-26%) reported that CAM could increase their feeling of control over their health. This pilot study suggests that long-term lymphoma survivors appear to use CAM at a rate higher than the general population. The use of potential agents of risk by the survivors and the lack of access to potentially beneficial modalities highlights the need for further study of CAM in this population.
PMCID: PMC3154703  PMID: 19894247
complementary medicine; Hodgkin lymphoma; non-Hodgkin lymphoma
21.  Food-Frequency Questionnaire Based Estimates of Total Antioxidant Capacity and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 
Antioxidants, primarily from fruits and vegetables, have been hypothesized to protect against non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) assay, which measures total antioxidant capacity of individual foods and accounts for synergism, can be estimated using a food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ). We tested the hypothesis that higher intake of antioxidant nutrients from foods, supplements, and FFQ-based ORAC values are associated with a lower risk of NHL in a clinic-based study of 603 incident cases and 1007 frequency-matched controls. Diet was assessed with a 128-item FFQ. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals adjusted for age, sex, residence and total energy. Dietary intake of α-tocopherol (OR=0.50; p-trend=0.0002), β-carotene (OR=0.58; p-trend=0.0005), lutein/zeaxanthin (OR=0.62; p-trend=0.005), zinc (OR=0.54; p-trend=0.003) and chromium (OR=0.68; p-trend=0.032) were inversely associated with NHL risk. Inclusion of supplement use had little impact on these associations. Total vegetables (OR=0.52; p-trend<0.0001), particularly green leafy (OR=0.52; p-trend<0.0001) and cruciferous (OR=0.68; p-trend=0.045) vegetables, were inversely associated with NHL risk. NHL risk was inversely associated with both hydrophilic ORAC (OR=0.61, p-trend=0.003) and lipophilic ORAC (OR=0.48, p-trend=0.0002), although after simultaneous adjustment for other antioxidants or total vegetables only the association for lipophilic ORAC remained significant. There was no striking heterogeneity in results across the common NHL subtypes. Higher antioxidant intake as estimated by the FFQ-ORAC, particularly the lipophilic component, was associated with a lower NHL risk after accounting for other antioxidant nutrients and vegetable intake, supporting this as potentially useful summary measure of total antioxidant intake.
PMCID: PMC3306533  PMID: 22038870
Diet; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; vegetables; antioxidants; ORAC
22.  Elevated Pretreatment Serum Levels of Interferon-inducible Protein-10 (CXCL10) Predict Disease Relapse and Prognosis in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Patients 
American journal of hematology  2012;87(9):865-869.
While standard clinical prognostic factors predict outcome in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), predicting the outcome of patients might be further refined using biological factors. We tested whether serum cytokines could provide prognostic information in DLBCL patients. Thirty cytokines were measured in pre-treatment samples from newly diagnosed DLBCL patients using a multiplex ELISA. Sixty-nine patients treated with R-CHOP plus epratuzumab were used in an initial cohort and 185 patients treated with standard R-CHOP served as a subsequent validation cohort. In the initial cohort, elevated serum IL-10 (interleukin-10; HR=6.6, p=0.022), GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor; HR=10.8, p=0.027) and IP-10 (interferon-inducible protein-10, CXCL10; HR=3.32, p=0.015) were associated with event-free survival (EFS). An identical analysis of the subsequent validation cohort confirmed that elevated serum levels of IP-10 were strongly associated with a poor EFS (HR=2.42, p= 0.0007); and also identified IL-8 (interleukin-8; HR=3.40, p= 0.00002) and IL-2R (interleukin-2 receptor, CD25; HR=2.59, p= 0.0012) as significantly associated with prognosis. The prognostic significance of elevated IP-10 remained significant after adjustment for the International Prognostic Index (IPI; EFS – HR 1.99, p=0.009, overall survival- HR 1.93, p=0.021). Elevated pretreatment serum IP-10 levels are therefore associated with an increased likelihood of disease relapse and an inferior survival in patients with DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC3429646  PMID: 22674570
IP-10; CXCL10; cytokines; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; prognosis
23.  Germline Variation in Complement Genes and Event-Free Survival in Follicular and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma 
American journal of hematology  2012;87(9):880-885.
The complement pathway plays a central role in innate immunity, and also functions as a regulator of the overall immune response. We evaluated whether polymorphisms in complement genes are associated with event-free survival (EFS) in follicular (FL) and diffuse large B-cell (DLBCL) lymphoma. We genotyped 167 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 30 complement pathway genes in a prospective cohort study of newly diagnosed FL (N=107) and DLBCL (N=82) patients enrolled at the Mayo Clinic from 2002–2005. Cox regression was used to estimate Hazard Ratios (HRs) for individual SNPs with EFS, adjusting for FLIPI or IPI and treatment. For gene-level analyses, we used a principal components based gene-level test. In gene-level analyses for FL EFS, CFH (p=0.009), CD55 (p=0.006), CFHR5 (p=0.01), C9 (p=0.02), CFHR1 (p=0.03), and CD46 (p=0.03) were significant at p<0.05, and these genes remained noteworthy after accounting for multiple testing (q<0.15). SNPs in CFH, CFHR1, and CFHR5 showed stronger associations among patients receiving any rituximab, while SNPs from CD55 and CD46 showed stronger associations among patients who were observed. For DLBCL, only CLU (p=0.001) and C7 (p=0.03) were associated with EFS, but did not remain noteworthy after accounting for multiple testing (q>0.15). Genes from the Regulators of Complement Activation (CFH, CD55, CFHR1, CFHR5, CD46) at 1q32-q32.1, along with C9, were associated with FL EFS after adjusting for clinical variables, and if replicated, these findings add further support for the role of host innate immunity in FL prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3586263  PMID: 22718493
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; complement pathway; SNPs; prognosis; prospective cohort
24.  Early life sun exposure, vitamin D-related gene variants, and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2012;23(7):1017-1029.
It has been hypothesized that vitamin D mediates the inverse relationship between sun exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk reported in several recent studies. We evaluated the association of self-reported sun exposure at ages <13, 13–21, 22–40, and 41+ years and 19 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 4 candidate genes relevant to vitamin D metabolism (RXR, VDR, CYP24A1, CYP27B1) with NHL risk.
This analysis included 1,009 newly diagnosed NHL cases and 1,233 frequency-matched controls from an ongoing clinic-based study. Odds ratios (OR), 95 % confidence intervals (CI), and tests for trend were estimated using unconditional logistic regression.
There was a significant decrease in NHL risk with increased sun exposure at ages 13–21 years (OR≥15 vs. ≤3 h/week = 0.68; 95 % CI, 0.43–1.08; ptrend = 0.0025), which attenuated for older ages at exposure. We observed significant main effect associations for 3 SNPs in VDR and 1 SNP in CYP24A1: rs886441 (ORper-allele = 0.82; 95 % CI, 0.70–0.96; p = 0.016), rs3819545 (ORper-allele = 1.24; 95 % CI, 1.10–1.40; p = 0.00043), and rs2239186 (ORper-allele = 1.22; 95 % CI, 1.05–1.41; p = 0.0095) for VDR and rs2762939 (ORper-allele = 0.85; 95 % CI, 0.75–0.98; p = 0.023) for CYP24A1. Moreover, the effect of sun exposure at age 13–21 years on overall NHL risk appears to be modified by germline variation in VDR (rs4516035; pinteraction = 0.0066). Exploratory analysis indicated potential heterogeneity of these associations by NHL subtype.
These results suggest that germline genetic variation in VDR, and therefore the vitamin D pathway, may mediate an association between early life sun exposure and NHL risk.
PMCID: PMC3589750  PMID: 22544453
Ultraviolet radiation; Vitamin D; VDR; Molecular epidemiology; Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
25.  LMO2 protein expression, LMO2 germline genetic variation, and overall survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the pre-rituximab era 
Leukemia & lymphoma  2012;53(6):1105-1112.
Both LMO2 mRNA and protein expression in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) have been associated with superior survival; however, a role for germline genetic variation in LMO2 has not been previously reported. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for LMO2 was conducted on tumor tissue from diagnostic biopsies, and 20 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from LMO2 were genotyped from germline DNA. LMO2 IHC positivity was associated with superior survival (HR=0.55; 95% CI 0.31–0.97). Four LMO2 SNPs (rs10836127, rs941940, rs750781, rs1885524) were associated with survival after adjusting for LMO2 IHC and clinical factors (p<0.05), and one of these SNPs (rs941940) was also associated with IHC positivity (p=0.02). Compared to a model with clinical factors only (c-statistic=0.676), adding the 4 SNPs (c-statistic=0.751) or LMO2 IHC (c-statistic=0.691) increased the predictive ability of the model, while inclusion of all 3 factors (c-statistic=0.754) did not meaningfully add predictive ability above a model with clinical factors and the 4 SNPs. In conclusion, germline genetic variation in LMO2 was associated with DLBCL prognosis and provided slightly stronger predictive ability relative to LMO2 IHC status.
PMCID: PMC3575512  PMID: 22066713
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; LMO2; prognosis; single nucleotide polymorphisms

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