Transformation and additional malignancies are leading risk factors for an adverse course of disease in marginal zone lymphoma


  • A.H. Meyer
  • A. Stroux
  • K. Lerch
  • J. Eucker
  • J. Eitle
  • K. Hohloch
  • M. Andrzejak
  • K. Possinger
  • B. Dörken
  • A. Pezzutto
  • C.W. Scholz


  • Annals of Oncology


  • Ann Oncol 25 (1): 210-215


  • BACKGROUND: Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma that occurs as extra nodal, nodal, or splenic. While MZL is generally considered an indolent disease, a substantial percentage of patients follow an unfavorable course. The objective of this retrospective analysis was to identify predictors for a reduced overall survival (OS), or conversely an increased OS. PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and ninety-seven MZL patients were analyzed. Apart from assessing previously published risk factors, concomitant morbidity at diagnosis, transformation into aggressive lymphoma, and occurrence of additional malignancies were evaluated. RESULTS: Next to the known risk factors, i.e. above 60 years of age and elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), we demonstrate that transformation into aggressive lymphoma, as well as additional malignancies, are important independent risk factors for a shortened OS in a multivariate analysis, irrespective of the MZL localization. Impressively, in the group of patients lacking LDH elevation, transformation, and/or additional malignancies, only 1 of 63 patients died during follow-up compared with 37 of 87 patients in the high-risk group (HR = 22.8; 95% confidence interval 3.1-167.0; P = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis proposes novel risk factors and warrants for a continuous follow-up to detect the occurrence of transformation and additional malignancies early on.