T-cell/histiocyte-rich large B-cell lymphoma (THRLBCL) is a rare aggressive lymphoma characterized by a paucity of neoplastic B-cells and a majority of reactive T-cells with or without histiocytes. In the 'Positron Emission Tomography-Guided Therapy of Aggressive Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas' trial (clinicaltrials.gov NCT00554164; EudraCT 2006-001641-33), its frequency was less than 3%. While cancer cell content by quantitative histology was 10-times lower, baseline total metabolic tumor volume (TMTV) by 18-fluorodesoxyglucose positron emission tomography was 10-times higher in THRLBCL than in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). When THRLBCL and DLBCL populations were matched for TMTV, the survival curves were superimposable. However, when the populations were matched for cancer cell volume by multiplying TMTV by cancer cell fraction, outcome in THRLBCL was worse than in DLBCL. Whether genetic differences between cancer cells, tumor-promoting properties of non-neoplastic cells, or both are responsible for inferior cancer cell volume-related outcome in THRLBCL, remains to be elucidated.
Keywords: T-cell/histiocyte-rich large B-cell lymphoma; cancer cell fraction; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; metabolic tumor volume; positron emission tomography.