Clinical relevance of soluble HLA-I and β2-microglobulin levels in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease

Maher Albitar, Julie M. Vose, Marcella M. Johnson, Kim Ann Do, Amanda Day, Iman Jilani, Hagop Kantarjian, Michael Keating, Susan M. O'Brien, Srdan Verstovsek, James O. Armitage, Francis J. Giles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Plasma levels of beta-2 microglobulin (β2M), a subunit of the human leukocyte antigen-class I (HLA-I) molecule, correlate negatively with outcome in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin's disease (HD). We examined the clinical relevance of soluble HLA-I (sHLA-I) levels in NHL and HD. Sera from consecutive NHL (n = 65) and HD (n = 37) patients were analyzed in a blinded manner. NHL and HD patients had significantly higher levels of sHLA-1 and β2M than control subjects. In NHL patients, sHLA-I levels correlated with clinical behavior in a fashion similar to that of β2M. However, multivariate analysis incorporating β2M, sHLA-I, and international prognostic index (IPI) indicated that NHL patients with elevated (>312.6 μg/100 mL) sHLA-I levels had significantly shorter survival, independent of IPI score as well as β2M. In HD patients, β2M but not sHLA-I levels were associated with clinical behavior. These findings not only establish the role of sHLA-I as an independent tumor marker in NHL that can be used to stratify patients, but also suggest that β2M and sHLA-I may reflect different biological processes in HD and NHL. Further studies are needed to assess whether the immunomodulatory properties of sHLA-I may be responsible for its divergence from β2M as an indicator of clinical behavior in HD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Beta-2 microglobulin
  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Human leukocyte antigen-class I
  • Immune modulation
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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