Patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) generally have a dismal prognosis. Intensified induction treatment with rituximab and high dose cytarabine (R_HDAC), and consolidation with high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell support has resulted in 10-year overall survival (OS) higher than 60%. However, the clinical course varies. Diagnostic tools capable of stratifying patients include the MCL International Prognostic Index (MIPI), gene expression-based proliferation signature, Ki-67 proliferation index or tumour cell morphology. Here, we tested the performance of a newly developed Nanostring-based RNA expression-based proliferation assay (MCL35) on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumour tissue from younger patients recruited in or treated according to Nordic MCL protocols compared to the prognosticators listed above. Seventy-four patients were included and the assay performed well in all cases except four, which had inadequate RNA quality. The patients were evenly distributed in the MCL35 low-, intermediate- and high-risk categories. MCL35 low- and intermediate- risk groups had overlapping progression-free survival (PFS), while patients in the high-risk category had significantly inferior PFS. Combining MCL35 with MIPI or the MIPI-C (MIPI with the addition of binary Ki67 score +/−30%) showed a better discrimination than either assessment alone. In conclusion, the MCL35 assay alone or combined with MIPI or MIPI-C scores can identify patients who still have a dismal outcome despite intensified treatment.
- formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue
- gene expression
- mantle cell lymphoma
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