Publications by authors named "Brian K Link"

176 Publications

Patterns of therapy initiation during the first decade for patients with follicular lymphoma who were observed at diagnosis in the rituximab era.

Blood Cancer J 2021 Jul 17;11(7):133. Epub 2021 Jul 17.

Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Immediate treatment for asymptomatic, low-tumor burden follicular lymphoma (FL) has not shown an overall survival benefit over "watch and wait" (W/W) strategy. We estimated incidence of treatment initiation at specific time points and assessed its association with the presence of any criteria such as GELF, BNLI, GITMO at diagnosis. FL patients managed by W/W strategy were identified from the Molecular Epidemiology Resource (MER) of the University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic Lymphoma SPORE between 2002 and 2015. Cumulative incidence estimates of treatment initiation were calculated using transformation (as the first event) and death as competing risks. 401 FL patients were identified on W/W strategy. At a median follow-up of 8 years, 256 (64%) initiated treatment. For patients on the W/W strategy for 5 years, the likelihood of treatment initiation in the next 5 years was 12% compared to 43% at diagnosis unlike transformation rates which remained steady. Patients with any of popular treatment criteria at diagnosis did not have increased therapy initiation rates (44% vs. 42%) during the first 5 years or lymphoma-related death rates at 10 years (6% vs. 7%). Identifying biological differences in patients with early vs. late or no progression is a critical next step in understanding outcomes in W/W patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00525-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8286048PMC
July 2021

Lack of intrafollicular memory CD4 + T cells is predictive of early clinical failure in newly diagnosed follicular lymphoma.

Blood Cancer J 2021 Jul 15;11(7):130. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Despite a characteristic indolent course, a substantial subset of follicular lymphoma (FL) patients has an early relapse with a poor outcome. Cells in the microenvironment may be a key contributor to treatment failure. We used a discovery and validation study design to identify microenvironmental determinants of early failure and then integrated these results into the FLIPI. In total, 496 newly diagnosed FL grade 1-3 A patients who were prospectively enrolled into the MER cohort from 2002 to 2012 were evaluated. Tissue microarrays were stained for CD4, CD8, FOXP3, CD32b, CD14, CD68, CD70, SIRP-α, TIM3, PD-1, and PD-L1. Early failure was defined as failing to achieve event-free survival at 24 months (EFS24) in immunochemotherapy-treated patients and EFS12 in all others. CyTOF and CODEX analysis were performed to characterize intratumoral immunophenotypes. Lack of intrafollicular CD4 expression was the only predictor of early failure that replicated with a pooled OR 2.37 (95%CI 1.48-3.79). We next developed a bio-clinical risk model (BioFLIPI), where lack of CD4 intrafollicular expression moved patients up one FLIPI risk group, adding a new fourth high-risk group. Compared with BioFLIPI score of 1, patients with a score of 2 (OR 2.17; 95% CI 1.08-4.69), 3 (OR 3.53; 95% CI 1.78-7.54), and 4 (OR 8.92; 95% CI 4.00-21.1) had increasing risk of early failure. The favorable intrafollicular CD4 T cells were identified as activated central memory T cells, whose prognostic value was independent from genetic features. In conclusion, lack of intrafollicular CD4 expression predicts early failure in FL and combined with FLIPI improves identification of high-risk patients; however, independent validation is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00521-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8282842PMC
July 2021

Surveillance imaging during first remission in follicular lymphoma does not impact overall survival.

Cancer 2021 Sep 22;127(18):3390-3402. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University-Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background: Although many patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) undergo routine radiographic surveillance during their first remission, no consensus exists on the modality, duration, frequency, or need for routine imaging studies. The authors retrospectively examined the effect of surveillance imaging on relapse detection and overall survival (OS) in patients with FL.

Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed FL who had a response to induction therapy were identified from the Lymphoid Malignancies Enterprise Architecture Database (LEAD) at Emory University and from the Molecular Epidemiology Resource (MER) of the University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic. Patients were evaluated for both relapse and method of relapse detection (ie, clinical concerns vs radiologic detection through surveillance imaging in an asymptomatic patient).

Results: Of 148 patients in the LEAD cohort, 55 (37%) relapsed, and the majority (n = 35; 64%) of relapses were detected clinically. In the MER cohort, 63 of 177 relapses (54%) were detected clinically. There was no significant difference in OS from the date of diagnosis between the 2 methods of relapse detection in the LEAD (hazard ratio [HR], 0.61; 95% CI, 0.13-2.94; P = .54) and MER (HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.47-2.21; P = .96) cohorts. Similarly, there was no significant difference in OS from the date of relapse between the 2 methods of relapse detection in the LEAD (HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.10-2.27; P = .35) and MER (HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.47-2.21; P = .96) cohorts.

Conclusions: These findings suggest a limited role for routine surveillance imaging in patients with FL who complete front-line therapy. Future studies should evaluate which patients may benefit from a more aggressive surveillance approach and should explore novel methods of relapse detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33660DOI Listing
September 2021

Body mass index and survival of patients with lymphoma.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 Jun 14:1-8. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Department of Health and Human Services, Radiation Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

The impact of body mass index (BMI) on survival in lymphoma remains controversial. We leveraged a prospective cohort of lymphoma patients enrolled to SPORE Molecular Epidemiology Resource between 2002 and 2015 to assess the association of BMI before diagnosis, BMI at diagnosis, and BMI change over time with lymphoma-specific survival (LSS). A total of 4009 lymphoma patients (670 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), 689 follicular lymphoma (FL), 1018 chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), and 1632 other subtypes) were included. Significantly shorter LSS after diagnosis was observed for FL patients who were obese before diagnosis (HR: 3.02, 95%CI: 1.43-6.41, =.004) and for those with  ≥ 5% increase in BMI from diagnosis to 3-year follow-up (HR: 3.53, 95%CI: 1.22-10.2, =.020). In contrast, obesity prior to or at the time of diagnosis was not associated with LSS in DLBCL and CLL/SLL. The impact of weight control after diagnosis in FL patient warrants investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1929956DOI Listing
June 2021

Impact of Organ Function-Based Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria in Patients With Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma: Who Gets Left Behind?

J Clin Oncol 2021 May 2;39(15):1641-1649. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Purpose: Exclusion of patients needing urgent treatment or requiring novel biomarkers before enrollment has impacted the ability to enroll real-world patients in frontline trials of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The impact of baseline organ function-based eligibility criteria on this effect and clinical trial exclusion is less well-understood.

Methods: Consecutive patients with newly diagnosed lymphoma were enrolled from 2002 to 2015 into the Molecular Epidemiology Resource (MER) of the University of Iowa and Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence. The current analysis includes 1,265 patients with DLBCL receiving standard immunochemotherapy. Organ function parameters were identified from criteria for hemoglobin, absolute neutrophil count, platelet count, creatinine clearance, and bilirubin, as reported in frontline DLBCL trials. Abstracted laboratory values from MER were used to determine the percent (%) of patients excluded. Outcomes and cause-of-death analyses comparing ineligible and eligible groups in MER were conducted. An interactive online tool was developed to estimate exclusions based on organ function for future trial design.

Results: Between 9% and 24% of MER patients with DLBCL receiving standard immunochemotherapy were excluded on the basis of baseline organ function alone. Ineligible patients based on organ function had significantly inferior event-free survival (hazard ratios, 1.67-2.16), overall survival (hazard ratios, 1.87-2.56), and event-free survival at 24 months (odds ratio, 1.71-2.16). Ineligible patients were more likely to die from lymphoma progression than increased therapy-related complications.

Conclusion: Current national and international trials exclude up to 24% of patients from participation on the basis of organ function alone. A significant difference in the outcomes, notably lymphoma-related death, suggests issues with generalization and potential exclusion of high-risk patients. These data will help future clinical trial development and meet US Food and Drug Administration and ASCO recommendations to increase trial accrual.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01935DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8274741PMC
May 2021

Somatic copy number gains in MYC, BCL2, and BCL6 identifies a subset of aggressive alternative-DH/TH DLBCL patients.

Blood Cancer J 2020 11 9;10(11):117. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Double/triple hit lymphoma (DH/TH), known as high-grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBL), is an aggressive diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), defined as having concurrent MYC, BCL2, and/or BCL6 gene rearrangements. While gene rearrangements represent significant genetic events in cancer, copy number alterations (CNAs) also play an important role, and their contributions to rearrangements have yet to be fully elucidated. Using FISH and high-resolution CNA data, we defined the landscape of concurrent gene rearrangements and copy gains in MYC, BCL2, and BCL6, in a cohort of 479 newly diagnosed DLBCL. We also show that concurrent translocations and copy number alterations, in combinations similar to DH/TH, identify a unique subset of DLBCL, alternative DH/TH, that have survival outcomes similar to DH/TH DLBCL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-00382-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7652824PMC
November 2020

Trends of lymphoma incidence in US veterans with rheumatoid arthritis, 2002-2017.

RMD Open 2020 07;6(2)

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.

Objective: Past epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated a link between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the incidence of lymphoma and it has been posited that high systemic inflammatory activity is a major risk determinant of lymphomagenesis. Given advances in the therapeutic armamentarium for RA management in recent years, the resulting lower level of disease activity could have led to a decline in lymphoma incidence in patients with RA. This study examined recent trends in lymphoma incidence in US veterans with RA.

Methods: Patients with RA were identified in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Corporate Data Warehouse. Lymphoma incidence was identified through the end of 2018 from the VA Central Cancer Registry and compared among patients diagnosed during 2003-2005, 2006-2008, 2009-2011 and 2012-2014.

Results: Among persons diagnosed with RA during 2003-2005, the incidence of lymphoma in the next 6 years was 2.0 per 1000 person-years. There was a steady decline in lymphoma incidence during the corresponding 6 years following diagnosis in the subsequent three cohorts, with a rate of 1.5 per 1000 person-years in the 2012-2014 cohort (incidence relative to that in the 2003-2005 cohort=0.79 (95% CI 0.58 to 1.1)). There was no similar decline in lymphoma incidence in VA patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis.

Conclusion: We observed a decline in lymphoma incidence in recent years among American veterans with RA. Further studies are needed to evaluate the specific factors driving this decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/rmdopen-2020-001241DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7425185PMC
July 2020

Foreseeing what is to happen in DLBCL.

Authors:
Brian K Link

Blood 2020 06;135(23):2014-2015

University of Iowa.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020005678DOI Listing
June 2020

Multicenter Study of Risk-Adapted Therapy With Dose-Adjusted EPOCH-R in Adults With Untreated Burkitt Lymphoma.

J Clin Oncol 2020 08 26;38(22):2519-2529. Epub 2020 May 26.

Lymphoid Malignancies Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.

Purpose: Burkitt lymphoma is an aggressive B-cell lymphoma curable with dose-intensive chemotherapy derived from pediatric leukemia regimens. Treatment is acutely toxic with late sequelae. We hypothesized that dose-adjusted etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, and rituximab (DA-EPOCH-R) may obviate the need for highly dose-intensive chemotherapy in adults with Burkitt lymphoma.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter risk-adapted study of DA-EPOCH-R in untreated adult Burkitt lymphoma. Low-risk patients received three cycles without CNS prophylaxis, and high-risk patients received six cycles with intrathecal CNS prophylaxis or extended intrathecal treatment if leptomeninges were involved. The primary endpoint was event-free survival (EFS), and secondary endpoints were toxicity and predictors of EFS and overall survival (OS).

Results: Between 2010 and 2017, 113 patients were enrolled across 22 centers, and 98 (87%) were high risk. The median age was 49 (range, 18-86) years, and 62% were ≥ 40 years. Bone marrow and/or CSF was involved in 29 (26%) of patients, and 28 (25%) were HIV positive. At a median follow-up of 58.7 months, EFS and OS were 84.5% and 87.0%, respectively, and EFS was 100% and 82.1% in low- and high-risk patients. Therapy was equally effective across age groups, HIV status, and International Prognostic Index risk groups. Involvement of the CSF identified the group at greatest risk for early toxicity-related death or treatment failure. Five treatment-related deaths (4%) occurred during therapy. Febrile neutropenia occurred in 16% of cycles, and tumor lysis syndrome was rare.

Conclusion: Risk-adapted DA-EPOCH-R therapy is effective in adult Burkitt lymphoma regardless of age or HIV status and was well tolerated. Improved therapeutic strategies for adults with CSF involvement are needed (funded by the National Cancer Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01092182).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00303DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7392744PMC
August 2020

Targeting of inflammatory pathways with R2CHOP in high-risk DLBCL.

Leukemia 2021 02 5;35(2):522-533. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoma, and front line therapies have not improved overall outcomes since the advent of immunochemotherapy. By pairing DNA and gene expression data with clinical response data, we identified a high-risk subset of non-GCB DLBCL patients characterized by genomic alterations and expression signatures capable of sustaining an inflammatory environment. These mutational alterations (PIM1, SPEN, and MYD88 [L265P]) and expression signatures (NF-κB, IRF4, and JAK-STAT engagement) were associated with proliferative signaling, and were found to be enriched in patients treated with RCHOP that experienced unfavorable outcomes. However, patients with these high-risk mutations had more favorable outcomes when the immunomodulatory agent lenalidomide was added to RCHOP (R2CHOP). We are the first to report the genomic validation of a high-risk phenotype with a preferential response towards R2CHOP therapy in non-GCB DLBCL patients. These conclusions could be translated to a clinical setting to identify the ~38% of non-GCB patients that could be considered high-risk, and would benefit from alternative therapies to standard RCHOP based on personalized genomic data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-0766-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483252PMC
February 2021

Genetically Determined Height and Risk of Non-hodgkin Lymphoma.

Front Oncol 2019 28;9:1539. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Although the evidence is not consistent, epidemiologic studies have suggested that taller adult height may be associated with an increased risk of some non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes. Height is largely determined by genetic factors, but how these genetic factors may contribute to NHL risk is unknown. We investigated the relationship between genetic determinants of height and NHL risk using data from eight genome-wide association studies (GWAS) comprising 10,629 NHL cases, including 3,857 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), 2,847 follicular lymphoma (FL), 3,100 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and 825 marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) cases, and 9,505 controls of European ancestry. We evaluated genetically predicted height by constructing polygenic risk scores using 833 height-associated SNPs. We used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for association between genetically determined height and the risk of four NHL subtypes in each GWAS and then used fixed-effect meta-analysis to combine subtype results across studies. We found suggestive evidence between taller genetically determined height and increased CLL risk (OR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.00-1.17, = 0.049), which was slightly stronger among women (OR = 1.15, 95% CI: 1.01-1.31, = 0.036). No significant associations were observed with DLBCL, FL, or MZL. Our findings suggest that there may be some shared genetic factors between CLL and height, but other endogenous or environmental factors may underlie reported epidemiologic height associations with other subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2019.01539DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6999122PMC
January 2020

Immunologic dysfunction and Hodgkin lymphoma: Insight to better therapy?

Authors:
Brian K Link

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2020 03 18;145(3):780-781. Epub 2020 Jan 18.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2019.12.914DOI Listing
March 2020

Compliance with cancer screening and influenza vaccination guidelines in non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors.

J Cancer Surviv 2020 06 2;14(3):316-321. Epub 2020 Jan 2.

Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Purpose: Compliance with US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) age-appropriate cancer screening and immunization guidelines in lymphoma survivors is not known. We sought to measure compliance in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) survivors and identify any differences based on patient, disease, and treatment characteristics.

Methods: Eligible NHL survivors were identified from the Molecular Epidemiology Resource (MER) prospective cohort study. Survivors self-reported colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer screening and influenza immunization in a questionnaire 3 years post-diagnosis (FU3). The USPSTF guidelines were used to define compliance. Chi-square tests were used to compare characteristics of compliant versus non-compliant survivors.

Results: A total of 1833 MER participants from 2005 to 2012 completed a FU3. Rates of breast and prostate cancer screening were 96% and 72%, respectively. No differences in compliance based on patient or disease characteristics or treatment were observed. Ninety-two percent of survivors were compliant with colorectal cancer screening. Older age, indolent lymphoma histology, and 2008-2012 year of diagnosis were associated with higher compliance. Eighty-two percent of survivors were compliant with influenza vaccination and older age was associated with higher compliance.

Conclusion: NHL survivors have high compliance with USPSTF recommendations for cancer screening and immunization. Survivors who are younger or have aggressive lymphomas are less likely to meet the colorectal cancer screening guidelines. Older survivors are more likely to receive influenza vaccination.

Implications For Cancer Survivors: Measures to further improve preventive care for NHL survivors, especially those younger in age, are necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11764-019-00846-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7261247PMC
June 2020

Pretreatment Hemoglobin Adds Prognostic Information To The NCCN-IPI In Patients With Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Treated With Anthracycline-Containing Chemotherapy.

Clin Epidemiol 2019 14;11:987-996. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Department of Hematology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Background: Hemoglobin (Hgb) concentration at diagnosis is associated with outcome in cancer. In a recently reported simplified 3-factor prognostic score in Hodgkin lymphoma, Hgb, along with age and clinical stage, outperformed the classical International Prognostic Score with seven parameters.

Methods: In the present study, we investigated if pretherapeutic Hgb concentration added prognostic information to the NCCN-IPI in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. We included patients from the Danish Lymphoma Registry (LYFO; N = 3499) and from the Molecular Epidemiology Resource (MER; N = 1225), Mayo Clinic and University of Iowa. Four sex-specific Hgb groups were defined: below transfusion threshold, from transfusion threshold to below lower limit of normal, from lower limit of normal to the population mean, and above the mean. We used multivariable Cox regression to estimate the hazard rate ratios (HR) and 95% CIs for overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS), adjusting for sex, NCCN-IPI, comorbidity, and rituximab treatment.

Results: Approximately half of the patients had Hgb levels below the lower limit of normal. Compared to patients with Hgb levels above the mean, an inferior OS was directly correlated with lower pretreatment Hgb within the predefined groups (HR=1.23, HR=1.51, and HR=2.05, respectively). These findings were validated in the MER.

Conclusion: Based on multivariable analysis, lower pretreatment Hgb, even within the normal range but below the mean, added prognostic information to established indices such as the NCCN-IPI and the Charlson comorbidity index.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S219595DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6861518PMC
November 2019

Human Pegivirus Infection and Lymphoma Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 08;71(5):1221-1228

Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Background: Human pegivirus (HPgV) is a single-strand RNA virus belonging to the Flaviviridae. Although no definitive association between HPgV infection and disease has been identified, previous studies have suggested an association of HPgV viremia with risk of lymphomas.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis, including 1 cohort study and 14 case-control studies, assessing the association of HPgV viremia with adult lymphomas. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random-effects model, overall and by geographic region and lymphoma subtype.

Results: The overall OR for lymphoma was 2.85 (95% CI, 1.98-4.11), with statistically significantly elevated ORs observed in 8 of 15 studies. There was a small amount of heterogeneity among studies (I2 = 28.9%; Q = 18.27, P = .16), and the funnel plot provided no evidence for publication bias. The strongest association with lymphoma risk was observed for studies from Southern Europe (OR, 5.68 [95% CI, 1.98-16.3]), whereas weaker ORs (with 95% CIs) were observed for studies from North America (2.24 [1.76-2.85]), Northern Europe (2.90 [.45-18.7), and the Middle East (2.51 [.87-7.27]), but all of similar magnitude. Participants with HPgV viremia had statistically significantly increased risks (OR [95% CI]) for developing diffuse large B-cell (3.29 [1.63-6.62]), follicular (3.01 [1.95-4.63]), marginal zone (1.90 [1.13-3.18]), and T-cell (2.11 [1.17-3.89]) lymphomas, while the risk for Hodgkin lymphoma (3.53 [.48-25.9]) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (1.45 [.45-4.66]) were increased but did not achieve statistical significance.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis supports a positive association of HPgV viremia with lymphoma risk, overall and for the major lymphoma subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciz940DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7442854PMC
August 2020

Amplification of 9p24.1 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma identifies a unique subset of cases that resemble primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma.

Blood Cancer J 2019 08 30;9(9):73. Epub 2019 Aug 30.

Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Copy number alterations (CNAs) of 9p24.1 occur frequently in Hodgkin lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), primary central nervous system lymphoma, and primary testicular lymphoma, resulting in overexpression of PD-L1 and sensitivity to PD-1 blockade-based immunotherapy. While 9p24.1 CNA was also reported in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), little is known about its molecular or clinical significance. In this study, we analyzed the prevalence of 9p24.1 CNA in newly diagnosed DLBCL and examined its association with PD-L1, PD-L2, and JAK2 expression, clinical characteristics, and outcome. We found that 10% of DLBCL cases had CNA of 9p24.1, with 6.5% gains, and 3.5% amplifications. Only the cases with a 9p24.1 amplification had high levels of PD-L1, PD-L2, and JAK2 expression. Gains or amplifications of 9p24.1 were associated with a younger age and the ABC/non-GCB subtype. Compared with DLBCL cases without 9p24.1 CNA, the cases with a 9p24.1 amplification had a trend of better event-free survival. Furthermore, the amplification cases had a gene expression and mutation profile similar to those of PMBCL. Our data suggest that amplification of 9p24.1 identifies a unique subset of DLBCL with clinical and molecular features resembling PMBCL that may be amenable to PD-1 blockade-based immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-019-0233-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6717207PMC
August 2019

Genetic overlap between autoimmune diseases and non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes.

Genet Epidemiol 2019 10 13;43(7):844-863. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Medicina Traslazionale, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Vercelli, Italy.

Epidemiologic studies show an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in patients with autoimmune disease (AD), due to a combination of shared environmental factors and/or genetic factors, or a causative cascade: chronic inflammation/antigen-stimulation in one disease leads to another. Here we assess shared genetic risk in genome-wide-association-studies (GWAS). Secondary analysis of GWAS of NHL subtypes (chronic lymphocytic leukemia, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and marginal zone lymphoma) and ADs (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and multiple sclerosis). Shared genetic risk was assessed by (a) description of regional genetic of overlap, (b) polygenic risk score (PRS), (c)"diseasome", (d)meta-analysis. Descriptive analysis revealed few shared genetic factors between each AD and each NHL subtype. The PRS of ADs were not increased in NHL patients (nor vice versa). In the diseasome, NHLs shared more genetic etiology with ADs than solid cancers (p = .0041). A meta-analysis (combing AD with NHL) implicated genes of apoptosis and telomere length. This GWAS-based analysis four NHL subtypes and three ADs revealed few weakly-associated shared loci, explaining little total risk. This suggests common genetic variation, as assessed by GWAS in these sample sizes, may not be the primary explanation for the link between these ADs and NHLs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22242DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6763347PMC
October 2019

Impact of concurrent indolent lymphoma on the clinical outcome of newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Blood 2019 10;134(16):1289-1297

Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Some patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) present with a concurrent indolent lymphoma at diagnosis. Their outcomes in the rituximab era are not fully defined. Using a prospectively followed cohort of 1324 newly diagnosed DLBCL patients treated with immunochemotherapy, we defined the prevalence, characteristics, and outcome of DLBCL with concurrent indolent lymphoma. Compared with patients with DLBCL alone (n = 1153; 87.1%), patients with concurrent DLBCL and follicular lymphoma (FL) (n = 109; 8.2%) had fewer elevations in lactate dehydrogenase, lower International Prognostic Index (IPI), and predominantly germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) subtype, whereas patients with concurrent DLBCL and other indolent lymphomas (n = 62; 4.7%) had more stage III-IV disease and a trend toward higher IPI and non-GCB subtype. After adjusting for IPI, patients with concurrent DLBCL and FL had similar event-free survival (EFS) (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.95) and a trend of better overall survival (OS) (HR = 0.75) compared with patients with DLBCL alone, but nearly identical EFS (HR = 1.00) and OS (HR = 0.84) compared with patients with GCB DLBCL alone. Patients with concurrent DLBCL and other indolent lymphomas had similar EFS (HR = 1.19) and OS (HR = 1.09) compared with patients with DLBCL alone. In conclusion, DLBCL patients with concurrent FL predominantly had the GCB subtype with outcomes similar to that of GCB DLBCL patients. DLBCL patients with concurrent other indolent lymphoma had similar outcomes compared with patients with DLBCL alone. These patients should not be summarily excluded from DLBCL clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019000858DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6888139PMC
October 2019

Late Relapses in Patients With Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Treated With Immunochemotherapy.

J Clin Oncol 2019 07 6;37(21):1819-1827. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

1 Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Purpose: In patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), most relapses occur within the first 2 years of diagnosis. We sought to define the rate and outcome of late relapses that occurred after achieving event-free survival at 24 months (EFS24).

Methods: We prospectively followed 1,324 patients with newly diagnosed DLBCL from 2002 to 2015 and treated with immunochemotherapy. Cumulative incidences of late DLBCL and indolent lymphoma relapses were analyzed as competing events. Postrelapse survival was defined as time from first relapse to death from any cause.

Results: In 847 patients who achieved EFS24, the cumulative incidence of late relapse was 6.9% at 3 years, 9.3% at 5 years, and 10.3% at 8 years after EFS24. The incidence of DLBCL relapse was similar in patients with DLBCL alone at diagnosis (6.3% at 5 years), compared with patients with concurrent indolent lymphoma at diagnosis (5.2%; = .46). However, the rate of indolent lymphoma relapse was higher in patients with concurrent indolent lymphoma (7.4% 2.1% at 5 years; < .01). In patients with DLBCL alone, the rate of DLBCL relapse was similar in the germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) (4.1% at 5 years) and non-GCB (4.0%; = .71) subtypes, whereas the rate of indolent lymphoma relapse was higher in patients with the GCB subtype (3.9% 0.0% at 5 years; = .02). Postrelapse survival was inferior for patients who relapsed with DLBCL than for those who relapsed with indolent lymphoma (median 29.9 months unreached; < .01).

Conclusion: Patients with DLBCL with a concurrent indolent lymphoma and those with the GCB subtype had a higher rate of late relapse, owing to increased relapses with indolent lymphoma. Patients who relapsed with DLBCL had a worse prognosis than those who relapsed with indolent lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.00014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7001527PMC
July 2019

Recurrent mutations in ALK-negative anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

Blood 2019 06 17;133(26):2776-2789. Epub 2019 May 17.

Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCLs) represent a relatively common group of T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (T-NHLs) that are unified by similar pathologic features but demonstrate marked genetic heterogeneity. ALCLs are broadly classified as being anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) or ALK, based on the presence or absence of rearrangements. Exome sequencing of 62 T-NHLs identified a previously unreported recurrent mutation in the musculin gene, , exclusively in ALK ALCLs. Additional sequencing for a total of 238 T-NHLs confirmed the specificity of for ALK ALCL and further demonstrated that 14 of 15 mutated cases (93%) had coexisting rearrangements. Musculin is a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor that heterodimerizes with other bHLH proteins to regulate lymphocyte development. The E116K mutation localized to the DNA binding domain of musculin and permitted formation of musculin-bHLH heterodimers but prevented their binding to authentic target sequence. Functional analysis showed MSC acted in a dominant-negative fashion, reversing wild-type musculin-induced repression of and cell cycle inhibition. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing and transcriptome analysis identified the cell cycle regulatory gene as a direct transcriptional target of musculin. MSC reversed E2F2-induced cell cycle arrest and promoted expression of the CD30-IRF4-MYC axis, whereas its expression was reciprocally induced by binding of IRF4 to the promoter. Finally, ALCL cells expressing were preferentially targeted by the BET inhibitor JQ1. These findings identify a novel recurrent mutation as a key driver of the CD30-IRF4-MYC axis and cell cycle progression in a unique subset of ALCLs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019000626DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6598380PMC
June 2019

The utility of prognostic indices, early events, and histological subtypes on predicting outcomes in non-follicular indolent B-cell lymphomas.

Am J Hematol 2019 06 10;94(6):658-666. Epub 2019 Apr 10.

Division Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplantation, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Indolent B-cell lymphomas other than follicular lymphoma account for up to 10% of all B-cell neoplasms. While they typically follow a slowly progressive course, some patients experience rapid progression and early mortality. Prognostic scoring systems have not been adopted, hindering the ability of clinicians or researchers to predict outcomes, or risk-stratify patients during clinical trials. To address this, we evaluated the utility of existing prognostic indices and novel, early disease-related outcomes, to predict subsequent long term survival. Baseline characteristics and outcomes data were generated from a longitudinal cohort study that prospectively enrolled 632 patients newly diagnosed with marginal zone lymphoma, lymphoplasmacytic lymphomas, or B-cell lymphomas not otherwise specified, beginning in 2002. The International Prognostic Index (IPI), Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI), and MALT International prognostic index (MALT-IPI) demonstrated c-statistics that ranged from 0.593-0.612 for event-free survival (EFS), and 0.683-0.714 for overall survival (OS). Patients who attained event-free survival at 12 months (EFS12) experienced similar mortality to the US general population (standardized mortality ratio [SMR] 1.19; 95% CI 0.95-1.46). Patients who did not attain EFS12 had subsequent worse morality (SMR 3.14 (95% CI 2.05-4.59). The MALT-IPI demonstrated utility in predicting subsequent long-term outcomes among patients with non-follicular indolent B-cell lymphomas. This index should be used by clinicians giving guidance to patients at the time of initial diagnosis, and risk stratification during clinical studies. The divergent long-term outcomes experienced by patients who do or do not attain EFS12 suggest there exists a subset of patients who harbor high-risk disease. Future research efforts should focus on methods to identify these patients at the time of diagnosis, in order to enable risk-tailored therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25473DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7137349PMC
June 2019

Novel treatment approaches and future perspectives in follicular lymphoma.

Ther Adv Hematol 2019 11;10:2040620718820510. Epub 2019 Jan 11.

Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Follicular lymphoma (FL) is a common B-cell malignancy characterized by relatively indolent growth and incurability with an expected lifetime course of serial intermittent treatment courses. Many patients with FL have lives shortened by the disease and despite a relatively favorable prognosis relative to other incurable systemic malignancies, optimal management of FL has not been achieved. This review focuses on identifying both patients for whom novel therapies might be most beneficial as well as systematically reviewing novel strategies at various levels of investigation. Prognostic markers incorporating clinical measurements and tumor genetics are discussed, yet at the time of diagnosis do not yet powerfully discriminate patients for whom specific strategies are beneficial. Reassessment of prognosis after evaluating the response to initial therapy is the most powerful identifier of those in need of novel management strategies. For initial therapy of high burden systemic disease, anti-CD20 antibody along with chemotherapy or immunomodulators all offer relatively similar effects on overall survival with subtly different effects on progression-free survival and quality of life. Several new agents currently under investigation in the upfront setting are discussed. Perhaps the best testing ground for novel therapies is in patients with early relapse following initial immunochemotherapy. Ongoing research in multiple therapy classes including, novel monoclonal antibodies, antibody drug conjugates, immunomodulatory agents, intracellular pathway inhibitors, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and epigenetic regulators are discussed herein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2040620718820510DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6348550PMC
January 2019

Single-Cell Profiling of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Reveals Underlying Heterogeneity Associated with Disease Progression.

Clin Cancer Res 2019 05 4;25(10):2996-3005. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Cancer Biology Graduate Program, University of Iowa, College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa.

Purpose: Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL), encompassing a spectrum of T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders involving the skin, have collectively increased in incidence over the last 40 years. Sézary syndrome is an aggressive form of CTCL characterized by significant presence of malignant cells in both the blood and skin. The guarded prognosis for Sézary syndrome reflects a lack of reliably effective therapy, due, in part, to an incomplete understanding of disease pathogenesis.

Experimental Design: Using single-cell sequencing of RNA and the machine-learning reverse graph embedding approach in the Monocle package, we defined a model featuring distinct transcriptomic states within Sézary syndrome. Gene expression used to differentiate the unique transcriptional states were further used to develop a boosted tree classification for early versus late CTCL disease.

Results: Our analysis showed the involvement of malignant T cells during clonal evolution, transitioning from T cells to or (HELIOS) tumor cells. Transcriptomic diversities in a clonal tumor can be used to predict disease stage, and we were able to characterize a gene signature that predicts disease stage with close to 80% accuracy. was found to be the most important factor to predict early disease in CTCL, along with another 19 genes used to predict CTCL stage.

Conclusions: This work offers insight into the heterogeneity of Sézary syndrome, providing better understanding of the transcriptomic diversities within a clonal tumor. This transcriptional heterogeneity can predict tumor stage and thereby offer guidance for therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-3309DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6659117PMC
May 2019

Maintenance rituximab or observation after frontline treatment with bendamustine-rituximab for follicular lymphoma.

Br J Haematol 2019 02 21;184(4):524-535. Epub 2018 Dec 21.

Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA.

Bendamustine (B) with rituximab (R) is a standard frontline treatment for medically fit follicular lymphoma (FL) patients. The safety and efficacy of maintenance rituximab (MR) after BR induction has not been formally compared to observation for FL, resulting in disparate practice patterns. Prospective trials have shown benefit of MR after R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone) or R-CVP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone), yet recent data from the GALLIUM study comparing outcomes of patients treated with chemotherapy with R or obinutuzumab (G) showed higher than anticipated fatal adverse events with BR/BG. In order to assess the efficacy and tolerability of MR after BR, we retrospectively collected data on 640 newly diagnosed patients treated with FL. We found that patients who achieved partial remission (PR) after ≥4 cycles of BR had improved duration of response (DOR) with MR vs. no maintenance, whereas those in complete remission did not. These findings were confirmed in a validation cohort. In the entire study population, the known fatal adverse event rate after BR was 2·5% and did not significantly differ in those receiving MR versus no maintenance. [Correction added on 14 January 2019, after online publication: The preceding sentence has been corrected in this current version.] Within the limitations inherent to retrospective analysis, these data suggest that FL patients with a PR to BR experience prolongation of remission with MR with an acceptable safety profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.15720DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6486816PMC
February 2019

Cause of Death in Follicular Lymphoma in the First Decade of the Rituximab Era: A Pooled Analysis of French and US Cohorts.

J Clin Oncol 2019 01 27;37(2):144-152. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

1 Hospices Civils de Lyon, Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud; Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon INSERM 1052, Lyon, France.

Purpose: Although the life expectancy of patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) has increased, little is known of their causes of death (CODs) in the rituximab era.

Patients And Methods: We pooled two cohorts of newly diagnosed patients with FL grade 1-3A. Patients were enrolled between 2001 and 2013 in two French referral institutions (N = 734; median follow-up 89 months) and 2002 and 2012 in the University of Iowa and Mayo Clinic Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE; N = 920; median follow-up 84 months). COD was classified as being a result of lymphoma, other malignancy, treatment related, or all other causes.

Results: Ten-year overall survival was comparable in the French (80%) and US (77%) cohorts. We were able to classify COD in 248 (88%) of 283 decedents. In the overall cohort, lymphoma was the most common COD, with a cumulative incidence of 10.3% at 10 years, followed by treatment-related mortality (3.0%), other malignancy (2.9%), other causes (2.2%), and unknown (3.0%). The 10-year cumulative incidence of death as a result of lymphoma or treatment was higher than death as a result of all other causes for each age group (including patients ≥ 70 years of age at diagnosis [25.4% v 16.6%]) Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index score 3 to 5 (27.4% v 5.2%), but not Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index score 0 to 1 (4.0% v 3.7%); for patients who failed to achieve event-free survival within 24 months from diagnosis (36.1% v 7.0%), but not for patients who achieved event-free survival within 24 months of diagnosis (6.7% v 5.7%); and for patients with a history of transformed FL (45.9% v 4.7%), but not among patients without (8.1% v 6.2%). Overall, 77 of 140 deaths as a result of lymphoma occurred in patients whose FL transformed after diagnosis.

Conclusion: Despite the improvement in overall survival in patients with FL in the rituximab era, their leading COD remains lymphoma, especially after disease transformation. Treatment-related mortality also represents a concern, which supports the need for less-toxic therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.00400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6366812PMC
January 2019
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