Aggressive large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) has variable outcomes. Current prognostic tools use factors for risk stratification that inadequately identify patients at high risk of refractory disease or relapse before initial treatment. A model associating 2 risk factors, total metabolic tumor volume (TMTV) >220 cm3 (determined by fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography coupled with computed tomography) and performance status (PS) ≥2, identified as prognostic in 301 older patients in the REMARC trial (#NCT01122472), was validated in 2174 patients of all ages treated in 2 clinical trials, PETAL (Positron Emission Tomography-Guided Therapy of Aggressive Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas; N = 510) and GOYA (N = 1315), and in real-world clinics (N = 349) across Europe and the United States. Three risk categories, low (no factors), intermediate (1 risk factor), and high (2 risk factors), significantly discriminated outcome in most of the series. Patients with 2 risk factors had worse outcomes than patients with no risk factors in the PETAL, GOYA, and real-world series. Patients with intermediate risk also had significantly worse outcomes than patients with no risk factors. The TMTV/Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-PS combination outperformed the International Prognostic Index with a positive C-index for progression-free survival and overall survival in most series. The combination of high TMTV > 220 cm3 and ECOG-PS ≥ 2 is a simple clinical model to identify aggressive LBCL risk categories before treatment. This combination addresses the unmet need to better predict before treatment initiation for aggressive LBCL the patients likely to benefit the most or not at all from therapy.
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