Prognostic factors, therapeutic approaches, and distinct immunobiologic features in patients with primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma on long-term follow-up

Blood Cancer J. 2020 May 4;10(5):49. doi: 10.1038/s41408-020-0312-7.


Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) is a rare and distinct subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) without prognostic factors or a single standard of treatment clearly defined. In this study we performed retrospective analysis for clinical outcomes of 166 patients with PMBCL. In overall PMBCL, higher International Prognostic Index, stage, Ki-67 proliferation index, and positron emission tomography (PET) maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) at diagnosis were significantly associated with poorer survival, whereas MUM1 expression and higher peripheral blood lymphocyte/monocyte ratios were significantly associated with better survival. Patients who received R-HCVAD or R-EPOCH had better clinical outcome than did those who received the standard treatment R-CHOP. Treatment response and end-of-treatment PET SUVmax had remarkable correlations with survival outcome. In patients with refractory or relapsed PMBCL, stem cell transplant significantly improved overall survival. PMBCL had distinct gene expression signatures compared with overall DLBCL-NOS but not with DLBCL with PD-L1/PD-L2 amplification. PMBCL also showed higher PD-L2 expression in B-cells, lower PD-1 expression in T-cells, and higher CTLA-4 expression in T-cells and distinct miRNA signatures compared with DLBCL-NOS. The prognostic factors, effectiveness of treatment, transcriptional and epigenetic signatures, and immunologic features revealed by this study enrich our understanding of PMBCL biology and support future treatment strategy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Cytarabine / therapeutic use
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Etoposide / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / genetics
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / immunology
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use
  • Transcriptome / drug effects
  • Vincristine / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • MicroRNAs
  • R-CHOP protocol
  • Cytarabine
  • Rituximab
  • Vincristine
  • Etoposide
  • Dexamethasone
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Prednisone
  • Methotrexate

Supplementary concepts

  • EPOCH protocol
  • HCVAD protocol