B-Cell Lymphoma Guidelines

Updated: Sep 25, 2017
  • Author: Mohammad Muhsin Chisti, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Guidelines

Guidelines Summary

Guidelines contributors:  Priyank P Patel, MD , Hematology/Oncology Fellow, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University at Buffalo;  Francisco J Hernandez-Ilizaliturri, MD; Chief, Lymphoma and Myeloma Section; Professor of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology; Director of The Lymphoma Translational Research Program; Associate Professor of Immunology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute 

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) Classification

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for NHL provide general recommendations on classification, differential diagnosis and supportive care, as well as specific guidance for the management of the most common B-cell subtypes. [12]

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has published separate guidelines for the management and treatment of the following subtypes:

  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • Diffuse large B cell lymphoma
  • Gastric marginal zone lymphoma of the mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue (MALT) type
  • Primary cutaneous lymphoma

NHL Classification Schemas

The three most commonly used classification schemas for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) are as follows:

  • National Cancer Institute’s Working Formulation (IWF) [34]
  • Revised European-American Classification of Lymphoid Neoplasms (REAL) [35]
  • World Health Organization (WHO) classification [3]

The Working Formulation, originally proposed in 1982, classified and grouped lymphomas by morphology and clinical behavior (ie, low, intermediate, or high grade) with 10 subgroups labeled A to J. [34] In 1994, the Revised European-American Lymphoma (REAL) classification attempted to apply immunophenotypic and genetic features in identifying distinct clinicopathologic NHL entities. [35]

The World Health Organization (WHO) classification, first introduced in 2001 and updated in 2008, further elaborates upon the REAL approach. This classification divides NHL into two groups: those of B-cell origin and those of T-cell/natural killer (NK)–cell origin. [3]

Although considered obsolete, the National Cancer Institute’s Working Formulation (IWF) classification is still used mainly for historical data comparisons. [34]

Low-grade NHL subtypes in the IWF classification are as follows:

  1. Small lymphocytic, consistent with chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  2. Follicular, predominantly small-cleaved cell
  3. Follicular, mixed small-cleaved, and large cell

Intermediate-grade NHL subtypes in the IWF classification are as follows:

D. Follicular, predominantly large cell

E. Diffuse, small-cleaved cell

F. Diffuse mixed, small and large cell

G. Diffuse, large cell, cleaved, or noncleaved cell

High-grade NHL subtypes in the IWF classification are as follows:

       H. Immunoblastic, large cell

I. Lymphoblastic, convoluted, or nonconvoluted cell

J. Small noncleaved-cell, Burkitt, or non-Burkitt

World Health Organization classification

The WHO modification of the REAL classification of NHL is based on morphology and cell lineage. Within the B-cell and T-cell categories, two subdivisions are recognized: precursor neoplasms, which correspond to the earliest stages of differentiation, and more mature differentiated neoplasms. [3]

The WHO classification subtypes for NHL precursors are as follows:

  • Precursor B–lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma
  • Precursor T–lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia

The WHO classification subtypes for peripheral B-cell neoplasms are as follows:

  • B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma
  • B-cell prolymphocytic leukemia
  • Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma/immunocytoma
  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue (MALT) type
  • Nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (± monocytoid B cells)
  • Splenic marginal zone lymphoma (± villous lymphocytes)
  • Hairy cell leukemia
  • Plasmacytoma/plasma cell myeloma
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
  • Burkitt lymphoma
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Diagnosis

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommendations for the diagnostic evaluation of non-Hodkgin lymphoma are as follows [12] :

  • Morphology and immunophenotyping is required for diagnosis according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification
  • Incisional or excisional biopsy is preferred for the initial diagnosis; core needle biopsy is discouraged except for cases where a lymph node is not easily accessible
  • Fine needle aspiration is not an acceptable diagnostic tool; however, in selected circumstances it can be used in combination with immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry
  • Differential diagnosis is based on morphology and clinical features, which determine the choice of studies
  • A broad but limited panel of antibodies should be tested
  • Additional panels are added on the basis of initial results; unless clinically urgent, panels of unnecessary antibodies should be avoided
  • Genetic studies may be ordered as needed
  • Bone marrow biopsy is required when clonal lymphocytosis is identified by flow cytometry, except in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, where bone marrow biopsy is not necessary unless indicated because of cytopenias and suspicion for bone marrow involvement)
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Staging

In 2014, the International Conference on Malignant Lymphomas (a multidisciplinary team of researchers representing major lymphoma clinical trial groups and cancer centers from North America, Europe, Japan, and Australasia) published guidelines for the evaluation, staging, and response assessment of patients with malignant lymphomas. This staging system is known as the Lugano Modification of the Ann Arbor staging system. [13]  In 2015, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) adopted this system. [12]

The revised recommendations for staging include the following [13] :

  • Positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET-CT) is preferred for fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-avid lymphomas; CT is indicated for non-avid lymphomas
  • PET-CT is preferred for pretreatment assessment and routine staging
  • Contrast-enhanced CT is more accurate for measurement of nodal size and is also preferred for radiation planning
  • PET-CT is preferred for determining splenic involvement, with cutoff for splenomegaly of more than 13 cm
  • Bone marrow biopsy is usually not required if the PET-CT scan indicates bone or marrow involvement but if the scan is negative, a bone marrow biopsy is indicated to identify involvement by discordant histology, if clinically relevant
  • Liver size is not a reliable measure; liver involvement is suggested by diffusely increased or focal uptake, with or without focal or disseminated nodules
  • Prior Ann Arbor staging divided patients according to absence (A) or presence (B) of disease-related symptoms (B symptoms include weight loss >10%, fever, drenching night sweats); these are not required in NHL staging since they are not prognostic

In addition, these guidelines offered consensus on further modifications to the Ann Arbor staging classification, as shown in Table 1, below [12, 13] :

  Table 1. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma staging. (Open Table in a new window)

Stage Area of Involvement Extranodal (E) Status
I Single node or adjacent group of nodes Single extranodal lesions without nodal involvement
II Multiple lymph node groups on same side of diaphragm Stage I or II by nodal extent with limited contiguous extranodal involvement
II bulky* Multiple lymph node groups on same side of diaphragm with “bulky disease” N/A
III Multiple lymph node groups on both sides of diaphragm; nodes above the diaphragm with spleen involvement N/A
IV Multiple noncontiguous extranodal sites N/A

*Stage II bulky disease is considered limited or advanced; this distinction is made on the basis of histology and a number of prognostic factors.

Suffixes A and B are not required. X for bulky disease replaced with documenting of largest tumor diameter. Definition of “bulky” disease varies, depending on lymphoma histology.

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Risk Stratification

National Comprehensive Cancer Network 

NCCN treatment recommendations for stage I/II (nonbulky) disease are as follows [12] :

  • R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin [hydroxydaunorubicin], vincristine [Oncovin], prednisone) for three cycles, followed by involved-field radiation therapy (IFRT)
  • R-CHOP for six cycles with or without IFRT is an acceptable alternative
  • Patients who are not candidates for chemotherapy should receive involved-site radiation therapy (ISRT)

For stage II bulky disease, NCCN recommends R-CHOP for six cycles, with or without radiation therapy.

The International Prognostic Index (IPI), which was originally designed as a prognostic factor model for aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, also appears to be useful for predicting the outcome of patients with low-grade lymphoma. This index is also used to identify patients at high risk of relapse, based on specific sites of involvement, including bone marrow, central nervous system, liver, testis, lung, and spleen. [8]  Separate indices have been developed for follicular and mantle cell lymphoma. [9, 10, 11]

The IPI includes the following risk factors [8] :

  • Age ≥ 60 y
  • Elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level
  • Stage III or IV disease
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≥2
  • Two or more extranodal sites

Each factor is worth 1 point. Based on the IPI score, patients can be categorized as follows [8] :

  • Low risk (0-1 point)
  • Low-intermediate risk (2 points)
  • High-intermediate risk (3 points)
  • High risk (4-5 points)

With this model, relapse-free and overall survival rates at 5 years are as follows:

  • 0-1 risk factors - 75%
  • 2-3 risk factors - 50%
  • 4-5 risk factors - 25%
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Follicular Lymphoma

World Health Organization Classification

In 2001, the WHO classification called for grading of follicular lymphoma (FL) from grades 1-3 based on the number of centroblasts per high-power field (hpf). However, the 2008 update consolidated cases with few centroblasts as FL grade 1-2 (low grade) and divided FL grade 3 into 3A (presence) and 3B (absence) of centrocytes. National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 2015 guidelines suggest that grade 3B should be treated as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), whereas 3A can be treated as either FL or DLBCL. [3, 19]

Prior to 2008, primary cutaneous follicle center lymphoma (PCFCL) was classified as a variant of FL. In the 2008 update, its classification was changed to that of a distinct entity. PCFCL may contain a high proportion of large B cells, including large centrocytes and centroblasts. Dissemination beyond the skin is rare.

Diagnosis

In addition to its general guidance on diagnosis of lymphoma, the NCCN recommends the following studies to establish a diagnosis of FL [12] :

  • Immunohistochemistry panel: CD20, CD3, CD5, CD10, BCL2, BCL6, cyclin D1, CD21, or CD23
  • Cell surface marker analysis by flow cytometry: kappa/lambda, CD19, CD20, CD5, CD23, CD10

 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) guidelines are in agreement with the NCCN that diagnosis follows the WHO classification and excisional biopsy is preferred. Core biopsy is considered only in cases where lymph nodes are not easily accessible. Fine-needle aspiration is not recommended. [21]

Risk Stratification

The Groupe d’Etude des Lymphomes Folliculaires (GELF) recommends the following criteria for identifying patients in whom immediate therapy is necessary [20] :

  • Three nodes in three distinct areas, with each node ≥3 cm in diameter
  • A tumor ≥7 cm in diameter
  • Presence of systemic symptoms
  • Symptomatic spleen enlargement
  • Ascites or pleural effusion
  • Cytopenias (leukocytes <1.0 x 10 9/L and/or platelets <100 x 10 9/L)
  • Leukemia (>5.0 x 10 9/L malignant cells)

The NCCN recommends both the GELF criteria and the 2004 Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI) for risk stratification. The FLIPI includes the following risk factors [10] :

  • Age >60 y
  • Ann Arbor Stage III-IV
  • Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level above the upper limit of normal
  • Hemoglobin level <12 g/dL
  • Four or more nodal sites of disease

For each factor, the patient receives 1 point. Based on the FLIPI score, patients can be categorized as follows [10] :

  • Low risk (0 or 1 point)
  • Intermediate risk (2 points)
  • High risk (≥3 points)

In 2009, the International Follicular Lymphoma Prognostic Factor Project published an updated score, FLIPI2. The FLIPI2 includes the following risk factors (as with FLIPI1, each factor is worth 1 point) [9] :

  • Age >60y
  • β2-microglobulin (B2M) above the upper limit of normal
  • Bone marrow involvement
  • Hemoglobin level <12 g/dL
  • Longest diameter of the largest involved node >6 cm

Based on the FLIPI2 score, patients can be categorized as follows [9] :

  • Low risk (0 or 1 point)
  • Intermediate risk (2 points)
  • High risk (≥3 points)

With this model, relapse-free and overall survival rates at 5 years are as follows [9] :

  • 0-1 risk factors - 79%
  • Two risk factors - 51%
  • Three or more risk factors - 20%

FLIPI1 and FLIPI2 are used to predict prognosis but are not used to select treatment options.

Treatment

The NCCN and ESMO offer similar treatment recommendations, as follows [12, 21] :

  • Involved-site radiation therapy (ISRT), 24-30 Gy, is the preferred treatment option for stage I or II
  • If significant toxicity is expected from radiotherapy, initial observation may be more appropriate
  • Other first-line treatment options include rituximab, alone or in combination with other agents, and radioimmunotherapy
  • Combination treatment with involved-field radiation therapy (IFRT) and chemotherapy (see below) and/or radioimmunotherapy is recommended for more advanced stages
  • In asymptomatic patients with advanced-stage, low tumor burden disease, initiate treatment when the patients become symptomatic, as there is no survival advantage with immediate treatment versus a watch-and-wait approach

NCCN-recommended chemotherapy regimens (category 1) for FL are as follows:

  • Bendamustine + rituximab
  • R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin [hydroxydaunorubicin], vincristine [Oncovin], prednisone)
  • RCVP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone)
  • Single-agent rituximab can be used in elderly patients and patients with poor performance status
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Marginal Zone Lymphomas of MALT Type

Diagnosis

In addition to its general guidance on diagnosis of lymphoma, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends the following studies to establish a diagnosis of gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma [12] :

  • Immunohistochemistry panel: CD20, CD3, CD5, CD10, BCL2, kappa/lambda, CD21 or CD23, BCL6, cyclin D1
  • Cell surface marker analysis by flow cytometry: kappa/lambda, CD19, CD20, CD5, CD23, CD10
  • Helicobacter pylori testing
  • Fluorescence  in situ hybridization (FISH) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of  t(11;18) (p21;p21) to identify patients who are unlikely to respond to antibiotic therapy

European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) guidelines for clinical management of marginal zone lymphomas of MALT type provide similar recommendations. [24]

Staging

The following two systems are currently used for staging gastric marginal zone lymphoma:

  • Lugano staging system (1994) [36]
  • Paris staging system (2003) [37]

The Lugano system is a modification of the Ann Arbor staging system, and the Paris system corresponds to the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) system for staging gastric cancer, which presents more accurately the depth of gastric wall involvement, a factor in the response to H pylori eradication. See Table 2, below.

Table 2. Comparison of Lugano and Paris staging systems (Open Table in a new window)

Lugano Staging System Paris Staging System
Stage Area of Involvement TNM Tumor extension
IE1 Confined to GI tract—mucosa, submucosa T1m N0 M0



T1sm N0 M0



Mucosa



Submucosa



IE2 Confined to GI tract—muscularis propria, serosa T2 N0 M0



T3 N0 M0



Muscularis propria



Serosa



IIE1 Extending into abdomen—local nodal involvement T1-3 N1 M0 Perigastric lymph nodes
IIE2 Extending into abdomen—distant nodal involvement T1-3 N2 M0 More distant regional nodes
IIE Penetration of serosa to involve adjacent organs or tissues T4 N0 M0 Invasion of adjacent structures
IV T1-4 N3 M0



T1-4 N0-3 M1



Lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm/distant metastases (eg, bone marrow or additional extranodal sites)

Table. (Open Table in a new window)

Disseminated extranodal involvement or concomitant supra-diaphragmatic nodal involvement  

Both the NCCN and ESMO recommend that early staging procedures include gastroduodenal endoscopy, with multiple biopsies taken from each region of the stomach, duodenum, gastroesophageal junction, and any abnormal-appearing site. Endoscopic ultrasound is recommended to evaluate regional lymph nodes and gastric wall infiltration. Attention to other MALT sites and autoimmune diseases is necessary. As in other lymphomas, staging procedures should include CT scanning, laboratory studies, and bone marrow examination. [12, 24]

Treatment

Both the NCCN and ESMO recommend antibiotic eradication of Helicobacter pylori as first-line treatment for H pylori–positive patients, including t(11;18)-positive patients. However, patients with t(11;18) are unlikely to respond to antibiotic therapy, or to alkylating agents as a sole treatment; they should be treated with involved-site radiation therapy (ISRT) or rituximab. In H pylori–negative patients, ISRT, 30 Gy, is the preferred treatment option. Rituximab is an option if radiation therapy is contraindicated. [12, 24]

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Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Diagnosis

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is diagnosed in accordance with the World Health Organization criteria for hematological neoplasms and detection of Cyclin D1 expression or the t(11;14) translocation along with mature B-cell proliferation. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends the following studies to establish a diagnosis of MCL [12] :

  • Immunohistochemistry panel: CD20, CD3, CD5, CD10, BCL2, BCL6, cyclin D1, CD21, CD23, Ki-67
  • Cell surface marker analysis by flow cytometry: kappa/lambda, CD19, CD20, CD5, CD23, CD10
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) or cytogenetics for detection of  t(11;14),  t(14;18).
  • Immunohistochemistry for SOX 11, which is expressed in approximately 90% of MCLs but is negative in all other B-cell lymphoid neoplasms except Burkitt lymphomas and lymphoblastic lymphomas

Risk stratification

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) recommends the 2008 MCL International Prognostic Index (MIPI) for risk stratification. [25]  The MIPI includes the following risk factors [11] :

  • Age: 50-59 (1 point); 60-69 (2 points); ≥70 (3 points)
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≥2 (2 points)
  • Lactate dehydrogenase level (ratio to upper limit of normal): 0.67-0.99 (1 point); 1.00-1.49 (2 points); ≥1.50 (3 points)
  • White blood cell count (× 10 9/L): 6700-9999 (1 point); 10,000-14,999 (2 points); ≥15,000 (3 points)

Based on the MIPI score, patients can be categorized as follows [11] :

  • Low risk (0-3 points)
  • Intermediate risk (4-5 points)
  • High risk (≥6 points)

In addition, both the NCCN and ESMO recommend assaying Ki-67 proliferative antigen to evaluate cell proliferation. Low Ki-67 (<30%) is associated with a more favorable prognosis; however, it is not used to guide treatment decisions. [12, 25]

Treatment

The NCCN and ESMO offer similar treatment recommendations, as follows [12, 25]

  • Chemotherapy followed by involved-site radiation therapy (ISRT), 30-36 Gy, is the preferred treatment option for limited stage I or II (non-bulky) disease, although this presentation is rare
  • For advanced-stage disease in younger patients and selected elderly fit patients, the recommended approach is aggressive induction therapy with a regimen such as hyperCVAD (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin [Adriamycin], dexamethasone alternating with high-dose methotrexate and cytarabine) + rituximab, followed by consolidation therapy consisting of high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell rescue
  • Prophylaxis and monitoring for tumor lysis syndrome should be strongly considered during the induction therapy.
  • In elderly fit patients, less-aggressive treatment regimens, such as R-CHOP (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) followed by rituximab maintenance is recommended by both NCCN and ESMO
  • For elderly patients who are not candidates for any of the above chemotherapy regimens, palliative chemotherapy should be considered, using milder chemo-immunotherapy regimens (eg, chlorambucil plus rituximab, bendamustine plus rituximab)
  • For relapsed or refractory disease, recommendations include high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell rescue and second-line agents bendamustine, bortezomib, temsirolimus, ibrutinib or lenalidomide with rituximab; allogeneic stem cell transplantation can be considered in selected patients as part of a second-line consolidation
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Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

Diagnosis

In addition to its general guidance on diagnosis of lymphoma, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends the following studies to establish a diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) [12] :

  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC) panel: CD20, CD3, CD5, CD10, CD45, BCL2, BCL6, Ki-67, IRF4/MUM1, MYC
  • Cell surface marker analysis by flow cytometry: kappa/lambda, CD45, CD3, CD5, CD19, CD10, CD20
  • Additional IHC panel for subtyping: Cyclin D1, kappa/lambda, CD30, CD138, EBER-ISH, ALK, HHV8
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) or cytogenetics for detection of  t(14;18),  t(3;v),  t(8;14),  t(8;v)

IHC should include adequate markers to differentiate the two subtypes of DLBCL: activated B-cell type (ABC) and germinal center B-cell type (GCB). The subtypes are genetically different diseases, and survival in patients with the ABC subtype is worse than in those with GCB. [29]

Risk stratification

The NCCN and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) recommend use of the International prognostic index (IPI) for all patients. Age-adjusted International Prognostic Index (aa-IPI) should be used for risk stratification of patients aged 60 years and younger. [12, 31]

The IPI includes the following risk factors:

  • Age >60 years
  • Elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≥2
  • Stage III or IV disease
  • Extranodal involvement >1 site

Each risk factor is worth 1 point. On the basis of the IPI score, patients can be categorized as follows:

  • Low risk (0-1 point)
  • Low-intermediate risk (2 points)
  • High-intermediate risk (3 points)
  • High risk (4-5 points)

The aa-IPI includes the following risk factors (1 point is allotted for each factor) [8] :

  • Elevated LDH level
  • Stage III or IV disease
  •  ECOG performance status ≥2

Based on the aa-IPI score, patients can be categorized as follows [8] :

  • Low risk (0 points)
  • Low-intermediate risk (1 point)
  • High-intermediate risk (2 points)
  • High risk (3 points)

Treatment

National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommendations

NCCN treatment recommendations for stage I/II (nonbulky) disease are as follows [12] :

  • R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin [hydroxydaunorubicin], vincristine [Oncovin], prednisone) for three cycles, followed by involved-field radiation therapy (IFRT)
  • R-CHOP for six cycles with or without IFRT is an acceptable alternative
  • Patients who are not candidates for chemotherapy should receive involved-site radiation therapy (ISRT)

For stage II bulky disease, NCCN recommends R-CHOP for six cycles, with or without radiation therapy.

For stage III/IV (advanced-stage) disease, NCCN treatment recommendations are as follows [12] :

  • R-CHOP every 21 days for six cycles is preferred
  • Consider radiation therapy for bulky sites
  • Other regimens that may be considered include dose-adjusted EPOCH (etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin) plus rituximab or dose-dense R-CHOP-14
  • In patients at increased risk for central nervous system relapse (eg, disease involving the paranasal sinus, testis, epidural, bone marrow, HIV lymphoma, kidney or adrenal involvement or >2 extranodal sites, elevated LDH or concomitant expression of BCL2 and MYC protein), four to eight doses of intrathecal methotrexate and/or cytarabine, or 3-3.5 g/m 2 of systemic methotrexate for prophylaxis is recommended

For relapse or refractory disease, high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and autologous stem cell rescue (ASCR) is the treatment of choice. Before or after HDC and ASCRA, IFRT is given to previous disease sites. Second-line regimens for HDC include the following, which may be given with or without rituximab :

  • DHAP (dexamethasone, cytarabine [high-dose Ara C], cisplatin)
  • ESHAP (methylprednisolone, etoposide, cytarabine, cisplatin)
  • GDP (gemcitabine, dexamethasone, cisplatin)
  • GemOx (gemcitabine and oxaliplatin)
  • ICE (ifosfamide, carboplatin, etoposide)
  • MINE (mitoxantrone, ifosfamide, mesna, etoposide)

Patients with relapsed disease who are not eligible for HDC and ASCR should be enrolled in a clinical trial. If one is not available, they should receive palliative chemotherapy.

European Society for Medical Oncology recommendations

The ESMO guidelines contain specific recommendations for patients <60 years old based on aaIPI risk. [31]

For aa-IPI=0 without bulky disease, treatment recommendations are as follows:

  • R-CHOP every 21 d for six cycles is preferred
  • Radiation therapy has no proven benefit

For aa-IPI=0 with bulky disease or aa-IPI=1, treatment recommendations are as follows:

  • R-CHOP every 21 d for six cycles with IFRT,  or
  • R-ACVBP (rituximab, doxorubicin, vindesine, cyclophosphamide, bleomycin, prednisolone) and sequential consolidation

For aa-IPI≥2, ESMO notes that no standard of care has been established; enrollment in a clinical trial is preferred. R-CHOP every 21 days for eight cycles is one possible regimen.

Follow-up

A PET-CT scan should be performed to confirm complete remission (CR). Patients in CR should receive clinical follow up with a history and physical examination and laboratory studies (eg, complete blood cell count, comprehensive metabolic panel, lactate dehydrogenase level) every 3-6 months for 5 years and then yearly or as clinically indicated. Imaging studies (CT scan) should be performed no more often than every 6 mo for 2 years after the completion of treatment, and then only as clinically indicated. [12]

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Burkitt Lymphoma

Classification

The 2008 World Health Organization classification identifies the following three clinical variants of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) [3] :

  • Endemic (eBL) – The most common form of childhood malignancy in equatorial Africa, associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection
  • Sporadic (sBL) – The majority of cases are in the United States and Europe; up to 30% are associated with EBV
  • Immunodeficiency associated – Occurs in patients with HIV infection, post-transplantation immunosuppression, and congenital immunodeficiency

Diagnosis

In addition to its general guidance on diagnosis of lymphoma, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends the following studies to establish a diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma [12] :

  • Immunohistochemistry panel: CD45(LCA), CD20, CD3, BCL2, BCL6, Ki-67, TdT  or
  • Cell surface marker analysis by flow cytometry: kappa/lambda, CD45, CD20, CD3, CD5, CD19, CD10, TdT
  • Fluorescence  in situ hybridization (FISH) or cytogenetics for detection of  t(8;14),  MYC.
  • Epstein-Barr encoding region in situ hybridization (EBER-ISH) can be used to identify EBV

Risk stratification

A prognostic scoring system was developed in 2013 using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. Risk factors and points assigned are as follows [32] :

  • Age 40-59 years or black race/ethnicity: 1 point
  • Age 60-79 years or stage III/IV disease: 2 points
  • Age 80 years and older: 4 points

The four risk groups based on the scoring system are as follows:

  • Low risk (0-1 point)
  • Low-intermediate risk (2 points)
  • High-intermediate risk (3 points)
  • High risk (≥4 points)

With this model, relative survival rates at 5 years are as follows:

  • Low risk - 71%
  • Low-intermediate - 55%
  • High-intermediate - 41%
  • High-risk - 29%

Treatment

Because of the complexity of the disease, NCCN guidelines recommend that treatment of Burkitt lymphoma be given at centers with expertise in the management of the disease. Recommended chemotherapy regimens include the following [12] :

  • Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) 10002 regimen
  • CODOX-M/IVAC (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, high-dose methotrexate/ifosfamide, etoposide, high-dose cytarabine) – Original or modified, with or without addition of rituximab
  • Dose-adjusted EPOCH (etoposide, prednisone, vincristine [Oncovin], cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin [hydroxydaunorubicin]), with rituximab (DA-EPOCH-R)
  • Hyper-CVAD (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin [Adriamycin], dexamethasone alternating with high-dose methotrexate and cytarabine) with rituximab (R-hyper-CVAD)

Other treatment recommendations are as follows [12] :

  • Enrollment in available clinical trials for all patients
  • CHOP is not considered adequate therapy
  • Central nervous system prophylaxis with systemic and/or intrathecal chemotherapy with methotrexate and/or cytarabine
  • Prophylaxis for tumor lysis syndrome is mandatory

Follow-up

The NCCN recommends follow up every 2-3 months for the first year after complete response, then every 3 months for the next year, and every 6 months thereafter. Relapse is rare after 2 years. [12]

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Primary Cutaneous B-Cell Lymphomas

In addition to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphoma (ISCL) published guidelines for the management of primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas (CBCL). [38]

Classification

The NCCN and EORTC/ISCL guidelines recommend use of the WHO-EORTC classification for cutaneous B-cell lymphomas (CBCL), which distinguishes the following three main types [39] :

  • Primary cutaneous marginal zone lymphoma (PC-MZL)
  • Primary cutaneous follicle center cell lymphoma (PC-FCL)
  • Primary cutaneous diffuse large B-cell, leg type (PC-DLBCL, LT)

Of note, a germinal (or follicle) center phenotype and large cells in a skin lesion is not equivalent to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) but is consistent with primary cutaneous germinal/follicle center lymphoma.

Diagnosis

In addition to its general guidance on diagnosis of lymphoma, the NCCN recommends the following studies to establish a diagnosis of CBCL [12] :

  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC) panel: CD20, CD3, CD5, CD10, BCL2, BCL6, IRF4/MUM1
  • Additional IHC panel for subtyping: Ki-67, CD43, CD21, CD23, Cyclin D1, kappa/lambda
  • Assessment of IgM and IgD expression to distinguish between PC-FCL and PC-DLBCL, leg type
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) or cytogenetics for detection of  t(14;18)
  • Bone marrow biopsy in PC-FCL, optional for PC-MZL

Staging

The 2007 TNM classification system of the ISCL/EORTC is used for staging, as shown in Table 3, below. [40]

Table 3. International Society for Cutaneous Lymphoma/European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer tumor-node-metastasis classification for cutaneous B-cell lymphoma (Open Table in a new window)

Tumor Involvement Node Involvement Metastatic Spread Involvement
T1 Solitary skin involvement



T1a:  ≤5 cm diameter



T1b:  >5 cm diameter



N0 No lymph node involvement M0 No evidence of extracutaneous non-lymph node disease
T2 Multiple lesions limited to one body region or two contiguous body regions



T2a: all-disease in a <15-cm diameter



T2b: all-disease in a >15- and <30-cm diameter



T2c: all-disease in a >30-cm diameter



N1 Involvement of one peripheral lymph node region M1 Evidence of extracutaneous non-lymph node disease
T3 Generalized skin involvement



T3a: multiple lesions involving two noncontiguous body regions



T3b: multiple lesions involving three body regions



N2 Involvement of two or more peripheral lymph node regions or involvement of any lymph node region that does not drain an area of current or prior skin involvement    
    N3 Central lymph nodes involvement    

Treatment

PC-FCL and PC-MZL

Both the NCCN and EORTC/ISCL guidelines recommend local radiation therapy or excision for T1-2 PC-FCL and PC-MZL. [12, 38]  The NCCN recommends intralesional steroids or topical therapy including steroids, imiquimod, nitrogen mustard, and bexarotene as alternative treatment options. [12]

For T3 disease, the NCCN recommends radiation therapy; chlorambucil; or cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone (CVP) with or without rituximab. Extracutaneous disease should be managed using the treatment guidelines for follicular lymphoma. [12]

EORTC/ISCL guidelines recommend systemic rituximab as the first choice of treatment for patients with extensive skin lesions. Combination chemotherapy (eg, R-COP, R-CHOP) should be considered only in exceptional cases, such as in patients with progressive disease not responding to rituximab or patients developing extracutaneous disease. [38]

PC-DBCL, LT

Both guidelines caution that radiation therapy is less effective in PC-DBCL, LT. R-CHOP with local radiation therapy is recommended as first line of treatment for all stages of DBCL, LT. [12, 38] . Because of the lack of studies on relapsed disease, EORTC/ISCL recommend that treatment protocols for relapsed DBCL be followed. [38] .

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