Purpose: Until now molecular biologic techniques have not been easily used in daily clinical practice to stratify patients for therapeutic purposes. Therefore, we have investigated the prognostic relevance of the immunohistochemical (IHC) germinal center B-cell (GCB) versus non-GCB diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) subtypes. Patients and Methods: We have analyzed tumor samples from patients treated in 2 prospective multicenter phase III trials, ie HOVON 25 (patients ≥ 65 years, n = 153) and HOVON 26 (patients < 65 years, n = 144) using whole sections (WS) or tissue microarray (TMA). CD10, BCL6, and MUM1 were applied in a specific IHC algorithm. The effect on clinical outcome using WS or TMA and variations in cut-off levels of these markers was also investigated. Results: The GCB subtype was not associated with a better OS in either trial. Small differences were observed in the HOVON 25 trial between techniques, with TMA showing a better outcome for GCB than did WS. Variation of cut-off levels in the specific algorithm did not improve the prediction of clinical outcome. Conclusion: We did not observe a consistent predictive power of the GCB and non-GCB classification by IHC in this large series of DLBCL patients treated with CHOP. This underscores the need to determine the biologic variation and the standardization of the protein expression levels and to further study the relevance of prognostic IHC classifications, preferably in phase III clinical trials.

DLBCL, Germinal center B-cell, Immunohistochemistry
dx.doi.org/10.3816/CLML.2011.n.003, hdl.handle.net/1765/68617
Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia
Department of Pathology

Rayman, N, Lam, K.H, van der Holt, B, Koss, C, van Veldhuizen, D, Budel, L.M, … Sonneveld, P. (2011). Prognostic relevance of immunohistochemical subclassification of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in two prospective phase III clinical trials. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia, 11(1), 23–32. doi:10.3816/CLML.2011.n.003