MYC expression in concert with BCL2 and BCL6 expression predicts outcome in Chinese patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified.
Recent studies provide convincing evidence that a combined immunohistochemical or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) score of MYC, BCL2, BCL6 proteins and MYC translocations predicted outcome in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients treated with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP). However, by far, all these researches are based on Western populations. Therefore, we investigate the prognostic relevance of MYC-, BCL2- and BCL6-rearrangements and protein expression by immunohistochemistry and FISH from 336 de novo DLBCL, NOS treated with CHOP or R-CHOP. Breaks in MYC and BCL6, and fusion in IGH/BCL2 were detected in 9.7%, 20.0%, and 11.1% of the cases, respectively, and were not significantly associated with clinical outcomes. Protein overexpression of MYC (?40%), BCL2 (?70%) and BCL6 (?50%) was encountered in 51%, 51% and 36% of the tumors, respectively. On the basis of MYC, BCL2 and BCL6 expression, double-hit scores (DHSs) and triple-hit score (THS) were assigned to all patients with DLBCL. Patients with high MYC/BCL2 DHS, high MYC/BCL6 DHS and high THS had multiple adverse prognostic factors including high LDH level, poor performance status, advanced clinical stage, high International Prognostic Index (IPI) score, and non-germinal center B-cell. In univariate analysis, high MYC/BCL2 DHS, high MYC/BCL6 DHS and high THS were associated with inferior OS and PFS in both CHOP and R-CHOP cohorts (P<0.05). The highly significant correlations with OS and PFS were maintained in multivariate models that controlled for IPI (P<0.05). DLBCLs with high DHSs and high THS share the clinical features and poor prognosis of double-hit lymphoma (P>0.05). These data together suggest that the immunohistochemical DHSs and THS defined a large subset of DLBCLs with double-hit biology and was strongly associated with poor outcome in patients treated with R-CHOP or CHOP.