From the Journals

Study confirms prognostic impact of MYC partner gene in DLBCL



MYC rearrangement (MYC-R) has negative prognostic significance in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in relation to the MYC partner gene, according to a retrospective study.

The negative prognostic effect of MYC-R was largely limited to patients with MYC–double hit/MYC–triple hit status and an immunoglobulin (IG) partner within 24 months following diagnosis.

“The primary objective of the study was to validate the prognostic relevance of [MYC–single hit] and [MYC–double hit/MYC–triple hit] status within the context of the MYC translocation partner (MYC-IG v. MYC-non-IG) in patients with DLBCL morphology,” wrote Andreas Rosenwald, MD, of the University of Würzburg (Germany) and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The researchers identified 5,117 patients who all received R-CHOP (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) or R-CHOP–like immunochemotherapy, 2,383 of whom were evaluable for MYC-R and had complete clinical data. The cohort consisted of patients enrolled in various population-based registries and prospective clinical studies throughout North America and Europe.

The team used fluorescence in situ hybridization testing to identify MYC-R, in addition to BCL2 and/or BCL6 translocations if MYC-R was detected. Subsequently, these data were correlated with clinical endpoints.

After analysis, the researchers found that MYC-R was detected in 11% of patients. The presence of MYC-R was associated with significantly reduced survival, particularly within the initial 24 months following diagnosis.

Adverse prognostic implications were largely apparent in patients with accompanying rearrangement of BCL2 and/or BCL6 translocations (MYC–double-hit/MYC–triple hit status) and an immunoglobulin (IG) partner (hazard ratio, 2.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.6-3.6; P less than .001).

“These data suggest that little justification exists for altering initial therapeutic approaches in patients with DLBCL whose tumors carry an MYC translocation alone [MYC single hit],” they wrote. “However, for [MYC double hit/MYC triple hit] DLBCL, the major negative prognostic impact and 2-year effect support the practice of optimizing first-line treatment approaches to achieve maximum complete response rates because salvage treatment at relapse is not effective.”

Dr. Rosenwald and colleagues suggested that, in the future, diagnostic approaches should be implemented to detect patients in this high-risk group and that risk-modified treatment strategies should be further developed.

The study was supported by unrestricted grants to the Lunenburg Lymphoma Biomarker Consortium from several pharmaceutical companies and Bloodwise. Dr. Rosenwald reported having no conflicts of interest, but several coauthors reported relationships with industry.

SOURCE: : Rosenwald A et al. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Sep 9. doi: 10.1200/JCO.19.00743.

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