Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma in Patients 80 Years and Older: Worse Survival After Treatment Without Increased Relapse Rates

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2021 Nov;21(11):799-804. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2021.06.015. Epub 2021 Jun 24.


Background: Age is an adverse prognostic factor in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), but there are limited data on the outcomes of patients' ≥80 years, including those treated with dose reduced chemoimmunotherapy.

Patients and methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 542 patients, 85 (16%) were ≥80 years of age.

Results: Although the very elderly group had more frequent comorbidities and decreased performance status, 89% received therapy. Four-year PFS was 42% vs. 61% (P < .001) in patients ≥80 years vs. younger patients, while 4-year OS was 42% vs. 72% (P < .0001), respectively. In patients treated with anthracycline-containing regimens (n = 416) 4-year cumulative incidence of relapse with death as competing risk was not different between age groups. Median survival for DLBCL patients ≥80 years treated with R-CHOP or R-miniCHOP was 4.5 years. Survival after first relapse was significantly different between age groups: 5 vs. 19 months (P = .002), respectively.

Conclusion: Very elderly DLBCL patients have worse OS and PFS compared with younger patients but can achieve long term disease control and potentially be cured with chemoimmunotherapy. Older DLBCL patients treated with effective regimens do not have increased rates of relapse, but outcomes after relapse remain poor.

Keywords: DLBCL and chemoimmunotherapy; Elderly.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / mortality*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality*
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis