Latent Epstein-Barr Virus Infection of Tumor Cells in Classical Hodgkin's Lymphoma Predicts Adverse Outcome in Older Adult Patients

A Diepstra, GW van Imhoff, M Schaapveld, Henrike Kos, A van de Berg, E Vellenga, S Poppema

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Purpose In classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (cHL), the impact of tumor cell Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) status on clinical outcome is controversial. Patients and Methods We assessed failure-free survival (FFS) and relative survival (RS) in 412 patients with cHL and age-defined subgroups in a population-based study in the northern Netherlands. Tumor cell EBV status was positive in 34%, and the median follow-up time was 7.1 years. Patients' median age at diagnosis was 35 years (range, 7 to 91 years), and 63% had Ann Arbor stage I or II, 24% had stage III, and 12% had stage IV disease. Results EBV status influenced 5-year FFS and RS only in patients from the age group 50 to 74 years. Five-year FFS was 60% in patients with EBV-positive versus 85% in EBV-negative tumors (P = .01). Five-year RS was 69% in patients with EBV-positive versus 82% in EBV-negative tumors (P = .03). After adjusting for histology, HLA class II expression by tumor cells, stage, presence of extranodal localizations and treatment, and the effect of positive EBV tumor status remained significant in FFS multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 3.11; 95% CI, 1.28 to 7.53; P = .01). Conclusion This study indicates that treatment failure in older adult patients with cHL is associated with positive tumor cell EBV status.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)3815-3821
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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  • EMC NIHES-02-65-02

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