Plasmablastic lymphoma - single centre experience with infusional EPOCH chemotherapy


Jayachandran PK, et al. Leuk Res 2020.


BACKGROUND: Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare type of aggressive large B - cell non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) which was initially described in HIV positive individuals and later was also described in immune-competent individuals. It was included as a distinct entity in the WHO lymphoma classification in 2008.

METHODS: The clinical features, HIV status, treatment details, and outcomes of patients diagnosed with plasmablastic lymphoma from January 2012 to December 2018 were retrospectively collected from the patient records and analyzed. The survival analysis was done by Kaplan Meier analysis and the comparison was done by the Log Rank test.

RESULTS: The median age of 25 patients, included in the study was 41 years (Range 13-71 years). Males constituted 76 %. HIV positivity was 72 %. Stage IV disease was present in 76 %. Extranodal involvement was seen in 96 %. Out of 25 patients, seven did not receive any treatment and three received metronomic oral chemotherapy due to poor performance status at presentation. Fifteen patients received chemotherapy on a curative intent. Infusional EPOCH chemotherapy was given in 13 patients. CHOP and CHOEP chemotherapy was given in one patient each. The median number of cycles was 6 (Range: 3-8). The overall response rate of patients treated on a curative intent was 80 % (Complete response and partial response in 8 and 4 respectively). Three patients underwent high dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue at first remission. The median event-free survival (EFS) and median overall survival (OS) of the whole study population was 5.9 and 12.4 months respectively, with a median follow of 26.9 months. The median EFS was 13.8 months and the median OS was not reached in the curative-intent group. The factors adversely influencing the EFS and OS were Age > 40 years, high IPI, and non-curative intent of treatment.

CONCLUSION: Plasmablastic lymphoma commonly presents as stage 4 disease with extranodal involvement and is more common in immune-deficient individuals. Infusional EPOCH chemotherapy is a promising option that induces long term remission.