Association of DNA Content and Proliferative Activity with Clinical Outcome in Patients with Diffuse Mixed Cell and Large Cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Terry N. Wooldridge, Helen L. Grierson, Dennis D. Weisenburger, James O. Armitage, W. G. Sanger, Michaeleen M. Collins, Jene L. Pierson, Mary E. Pauza, Renee Fordyce, David T. Purtilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded lymph node biopsy specimens from 52 untreated patients with newly diagnosed diffuse large cell (n = 48) or mixed cell (n = 4) non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) were analyzed for DNA content and proliferative activity (PA) by flow cytometry. The results obtained by flow cytometry were compared with the results of cytogenetic studies performed on 28 of the specimens. The median age of the patients was 65 years (range, 15–84 years) and the male to female ratio was 3 to 2. All patients were uniformly staged and uniformly treated with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, procarbazine, bleomycin, vincristine, and prednisone. The flow cytometric results were compared statistically by univariate analysis with the rate and duration of complete remission and survival. Tumors with low PA (≥80% of cells in Go/G1 phase) were found in 65% of the patients; 74% of those with low PA versus only 44% of those with high PA achieved an initial complete remission (P < 0.02). DNA aneuploidy was detected in tumors of 56% of the patients and was associated with a significantly longer duration of complete remission (P < 0.01). Both low PA and aneuploidy independently predicted longer survival. The predicted 2-year actuarial survival for patients with tumors with low PA was 68% versus 10% for those with high PA (P < 0.01). Similarly, the 2-year survival of patients with aneuploid tumors was 60% versus 36% for those with diploid tumors (P < 0.01). The combination of PA and DNA content categorized the patients into four groups with decreasing 2-year survivals: Low PA/ aneuploid (n = 20), 77%; low PA/diploid (n = 14), 57%; high PA/ aneuploid (n = 9), 32%; high PA/diploid (n = 9), 0%. The flow cytometric results correlated well with those of the cytogenetic studies. We conclude that low PA and DNA aneuploidy, both separately and in combination, predict a favorable clinical outcome for patients with diffuse mixed cell and large cell NHL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6608-6613
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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