High-grade B-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified: a multi-institutional retrospective study

Adam S. Zayac, Daniel J. Landsburg, Mitchell E. Hughes, Allison M. Bock, Grzegorz S. Nowakowski, Emily C. Ayers, Mark Girton, Marie Hu, Amy K. Beckman, Shaoying Li, L. Jeffrey Medeiros, Julie E. Chang, Adam Stepanovic, Habibe Kurt, Jose Sandoval-Sus, M. Ali Ansari-Lari, Shalin K. Kothari, Anna Kress, Mina L. Xu, Pallawi TorkaSuchitra Sundaram, Stephen D. Smith, Kikkeri N. Naresh, Yasmin H. Karimi, Narendranath Epperla, David A. Bond, Umar Farooq, Mahak Saad, Andrew M. Evens, Karan Pandya, Seema G. Naik, Manali Kamdar, Bradley Haverkos, Reem Karmali, Timothy S. Oh, Julie M. Vose, Heather Nutsch, Paul G. Rubinstein, Amina Chaudhry, Adam J. Olszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In this multi-institutional retrospective study, we examined the characteristics and outcomes of 160 patients with high-grade B-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (HGBL-NOS)—a rare category defined by high-grade morphologic features and lack of MYC rearrangements with BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements ("double hit"). Our results show that HGBL-NOS tumors are heterogeneous: 83% of patients had a germinal center B-cell immunophenotype, 37% a dual-expressor immunophenotype (MYC and BCL2 expression), 28% MYC rearrangement, 13% BCL2 rearrangement, and 11% BCL6 rearrangement. Most patients presented with stage IV disease, a high serum lactate dehydrogenase, and other high-risk clinical factors. Most frequent first-line regimens included dose-adjusted cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and etoposide, with rituximab and prednisone (DA-EPOCH-R; 43%); rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP; 33%); or other intensive chemotherapy programs. We found no significant differences in the rates of complete response (CR), progression-free survival (PFS), or overall survival (OS) between these chemotherapy regimens. CR was attained by 69% of patients. PFS at 2 years was 55.2% and OS was 68.1%. In a multivariable model, the main prognostic factors for PFS and OS were poor performance status, lactate dehydrogenase >3 × upper limit of normal, and a dual-expressor immunophenotype. Age >60 years or presence of MYC rearrangement were not prognostic, but patients with TP53 alterations had a dismal PFS. Presence of MYC rearrangement was not predictive of better PFS in patients treated with DA-EPOCH-R vs R-CHOP. Improvements in the diagnostic criteria and therapeutic approaches beyond dose-intense chemotherapy are needed to overcome the unfavorable prognosis of patients with HGBL-NOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6381-6394
Number of pages14
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology

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