Prognostic significance of hypoxia inducible factor-1α and vascular endothelial growth factor expression in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated with rituximab.
Powell JR., Dojcinov S., King L., Wosniak S., Gerry S., Casbard A., Bailey H., Gallop-Evans E., Maughan T.
We evaluated hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and their prognostic significance in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Expression of HIF-1α and VEGF was studied in 78 patients and results correlated with clinicopathological and prognostic data. HIF-1α and VEGF were expressed in 67% and 84% of patients, respectively, and a significant correlation was demonstrated between them (p < 0.001). Outcome was analyzed according to treatment. HIF-1α positive patients given rituximab demonstrated improved outcome, with 5-year overall survival of 72% for those receiving rituximab versus 65% for those not receiving rituximab, and 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) 76% versus 57%. No correlation was demonstrated between HIF-1α and other prognostic biomarkers including BCL6, CD10 and MUM-1. We demonstrated significantly improved PFS (p = 0.003) in patients receiving rituximab and showing BCL6 overexpression. The results confirm the significant association between HIF-1α and VEGF expression and suggest that HIF-1α expression is a favorable prognostic factor in patients with DLBCL treated with rituximab.