Objectives: Various studies have investigated the prognostic value of C-MYC aberrations in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). However, the role of C-MYC as an independent prognostic factor in clinical practice remains controversial. A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed to clarify the clinical significance of C-MYC aberrations in DLBCL patients.
Methods: The pooled hazard ratios (HRs) for overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were calculated as the main effect size estimates. The procedure was conducted according to the Cochrane handbook and PRISMA guidelines, including the use of a heterogeneity test, publication bias assessment, and meta-regression, as well as subgroup analyses.
Results: Twenty-four eligible studies enrolling 4662 patients were included in this meta-analysis. According to the nature of C-MYC aberrations (gene, protein, and mRNA), studies were divided into several subgroups. For DLBCL patients with C-MYC gene abnormalities, the combined HR was 2.22 (95% confidence interval, 1.89 to 2.61) for OS and 2.29 (95% confidence interval, 1.81 to 2.90) for EFS, compared to patients without C-MYC gene abnormalities. For DLBCL patients with overexpression of C-MYC protein and C-MYC mRNA, pooled HRs for OS were 2.13 and 1.62, respectively. C-MYC aberrations appeared to play an independent role among other well-known prognostic factors in DLBCL. Addition of rituximab could not overcome the inferior prognosis conferred by C-MYC.
Conclusion: The present systematic review and meta-analysis confirm the prognostic value of C-MYC aberrations. Screening of C-MYC should have definite prognostic meaning for DLBCL stratification, thus guaranteeing a more tailored therapy.