Clinical Features of Plasmablastic Lymphoma: Case Series From an Asian Tertiary Cancer Center and Literature Review


J Hematol. 2020 Sep;9(3):71-78. doi: 10.14740/jh672. Epub 2020 Aug 14.


BACKGROUND: Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is an aggressive subtype of mature B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Given its rarity, there remains a lack of clinicopathological data to guide its management, particularly on Asian patients.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 10 patients diagnosed with PBL at the National Cancer Centre Singapore and performed a literature review of similar studies on Asian cohorts.

RESULTS: Most patients were male (n = 9), with median age at diagnosis of 55 years (range, 33 - 91 years). Seven (70%) patients were considered to be immunocompromised. In the overall cohort, the median overall survival (OS) was 19.4 months with 5-year survival estimates given at 60% and 36% for OS and progression-free survival (PFS), respectively. At diagnosis, patients with HIV/AIDS (n = 5) were younger compared to others (median, 43 vs. 61 years; P = 0.0278), had greater number of nodal site involvement (median, 6 vs. 0; P = 0.0333), and higher international prognostic index (IPI) scores (P = 0.034 for trend). Amongst different chemotherapy used, etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin (EPOCH)-based regimens (n = 6) elicited prominent complete response rates (83%) and led to durable responses even in the setting of advanced stage, high-risk IPI score and immunodeficiency.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, our study describes the features of PBL in an Asian cohort and highlights disease features unique to HIV-associated PBL.