Background: Serum soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (sTNFR2) concentration predicted the clinical outcome of patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) treated with CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone) in our previous study. However, after rituximab (R) was introduced in clinical practice, R-CHOP replaced CHOP as the standard therapy for DLBCL. Patients and methods: In this study, we re-evaluated the prognostic significance of serum sTNFR2 in 154 patients with DLBCL treated with R-CHOP. Results: Five-yr overall survival (5-yr OS) rates with sTNFR2 ≥20 ng/mL and <20 ng/mL were 29.2% and 83.3% (P < 0.0001), respectively, and the corresponding 5-yr progression-free survival (5-yr PFS) rates were 26.9% and 76.4% (P < 0.0001), respectively. A multivariate analysis revealed that serum sTNFR2 and complete remission (CR) were independent prognostic factors for both OS (CR: P < 0.0001, sTNFR2: P = 0.0001) and PFS (CR: P < 0.0001, sTNFR2: P = 0.0001). The prognosis of patients with poor risk groups according to the revised International Prognostic Index who also had high serum sTNFR2 was especially poor. Conclusion: Serum sTNFR2 might be a powerful prognostic factor for patients with DLBCL in the rituximab era.
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