Outcomes of patients with limited-stage plasmablastic lymphoma: A multi-institutional retrospective study

Am J Hematol. 2023 Feb;98(2):300-308. doi: 10.1002/ajh.26784. Epub 2023 Jan 1.


Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare entity, commonly associated with immunosuppressed states such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or solid organ transplant. The clinical course is characterized by high relapse rates and a poor prognosis, leading some clinicians to recommend aggressive frontline therapy. However, a specific review of limited stage (LS) PBL patients is not available to evaluate outcomes and justify treatment recommendations. We performed a retrospective review of LS PBL cases to provide insight into this rare disease. Our cohort consisted of 80 stage I or II PBL patients from 13 US academic centers. With a median follow up of 34 months (1-196), the 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of the entire cohort were 72% (95% CI 62, 83) and 79% (95% CI 70, 89), respectively. The 3-year PFS and OS of patients treated with frontline chemotherapy alone was 65% (95% CI 50, 84) and 71% (95% CI 56, 89), respectively, compared to 85% (95% CI 72, 100) and 96% (95% CI 89, 100), respectively, in patients treated with combined frontline chemotherapy with radiation consolidation. Our data demonstrate favorable outcomes in LS PBL with no improvements in outcome from aggressive frontline treatment including Hyper-CVAD or auto-SCT consolidation. Multivariate regression analysis (MRA) demonstrated improved PFS for patients receiving EPOCH based frontline therapy versus CHOP (HR: 0.23; p = 0.029). Frontline chemotherapy followed by radiation consolidation versus chemotherapy alone appeared to be associated with improved relapse and survival outcomes but did not show statistical significance in MRA.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / etiology
  • Plasmablastic Lymphoma* / pathology
  • Plasmablastic Lymphoma* / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Retrospective Studies