Purpose: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is curable in 60% of patients treated with rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP). MYC translocations, with or without BCL2 translocations, have been associated with inferior survival in DLBCL. We investigated whether expression of MYC protein, with or without BCL2 protein expression, could risk-stratify patients at diagnosis. Patients and Methods: We determined the correlation between presence of MYC and BCL2 proteins by immunohistochemistry (IHC) with survival in two independent cohorts of patients with DLBCL treated with R-CHOP. We further determined if MYC protein expression correlated with high MYC mRNA and/or presence of MYC translocation. Results: In the training cohort (n = 167), MYC and BCL2 proteins were detected in 29% and 44% of patients, respectively. Concurrent expression (MYC positive/BCL2 positive) was present in 21% of patients. MYC protein correlated with presence of high MYC mRNA and MYC translocation (both P < .001), but the latter was less frequent (both 11%). MYC protein expression was only associated with inferior overall and progression-free survival when BCL2 protein was coexpressed (P < .001). Importantly, the poor prognostic effect of MYC positive/BCL2 positive was validated in an independent cohort of 140 patients with DLBCL and remained significant (P < .05) after adjusting for presence of high-risk features in a multivariable model that included elevated international prognostic index score, activated B-cell molecular subtype, and presence of concurrent MYC and BCL2 translocations. Conclusion: Assessment of MYC and BCL2 expression by IHC represents a robust, rapid, and inexpensive approach to risk-stratify patients with DLBCL at diagnosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research