Hematol Oncol 2017 Oct 30
Relapse in stage I(E) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.   
Despite a general favourable outcome in limited stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), relapses occur in about 10 to 20% of patients. Prognostic models only partially identify patients at risk for relapse. Moreover, it is not known whether the outcome after such a relapse is similar to the outcome after relapse in advanced stages. From January 2004 through December 2012, all newly diagnosed patients with stage I(E) DLBCL were retrospectively analysed from 2 clinical databases to investigate the relapse pattern and outcome in relation to initial treatment and clinical characteristics. In 126 patients (median age 64 years), histologically confirmed stage I(E) DLBCL was diagnosed. With a median follow-up of 53 months (range 5-132 months), 1 progressive disease and 18 relapses occurred. The 5-year time to tumour progression and disease-specific survival were 85% (95% CI 79-91%) and 92% (95% CI 87%-97%), respectively. We observed no significant difference in relapse localization, time to tumour progression, and disease-specific survival between patients treated with abbreviated R-CHOP plus involved field radiotherapy or with 6 to 8 cycles of R-CHOP. Analysis of relapses showed relapse >5 years after initial treatment (late relapse) in 5 of 19 patients (26%). Six of 19 patients (32%) had central nervous system relapse. Three of 11 relapsed cases available for analysis (28%) showed an MYC translocation, suggesting an overrepresentation in the relapse group. Outcome of patients with a relapse was poor with a median survival after relapse of 8 months. Only 1 patient (5%) underwent successful autologous stem cell transplantation. To improve outcome in these patients, early identification of new biological factors such as a MYC translocation or a high risk for CNS dissemination might be helpful. Moreover, treatment of any relapse after stage I disease should be taken seriously. Salvage treatment should be similar to relapses after advanced DLBCL.

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