PURPOSE: To evaluate the prognostic impact of cell-of-origin (COO) subgroups, assigned using the recently described gene expression-based Lymph2Cx assay in comparison with International Prognostic Index (IPI) score and MYC/BCL2 coexpression status (dual expressers).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Reproducibility of COO assignment using the Lymph2Cx assay was tested employing repeated sampling within tumor biopsies and changes in reagent lots. The assay was then applied to pretreatment formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue (FFPET) biopsies from 344 patients with de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) uniformly treated with rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) at the British Columbia Cancer Agency. MYC and BCL2 protein expression was assessed using immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays.
RESULTS: The Lymph2Cx assay provided concordant COO calls in 96% of 49 repeatedly sampled tumor biopsies and in 100% of 83 FFPET biopsies tested across reagent lots. Critically, no frank misclassification (activated B-cell-like DLBCL to germinal center B-cell-like DLBCL or vice versa) was observed. Patients with activated B-cell-like DLBCL had significantly inferior outcomes compared with patients with germinal center B-cell-like DLBCL (log-rank P <.001 for time to progression, progression-free survival, disease-specific survival, and overall survival). In pairwise multivariable analyses, COO was associated with outcomes independent of IPI score and MYC/BCL2 immunohistochemistry. The prognostic significance of COO was particularly evident in patients with intermediate IPI scores and the non-MYC-positive/BCL2-positive subgroup (log-rank P <.001 for time to progression).
CONCLUSION: Assignment of DLBCL COO by the Lymph2Cx assay using FFPET biopsies identifies patient groups with significantly different outcomes after R-CHOP, independent of IPI score and MYC/BCL2 dual expression.
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