Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status does not appear to affect survival outcomes among patients treated for plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL), according to research published in the American Journal of Hematology. In addition, oral primary disease location may be associated with improved overall survival (OS).

PBL, a rare subtype of large B-cell lymphoma, is considered aggressive and has an unknown incidence rate. The disease is linked with HIV and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and is often apparent in the jaw mucosa. While some small studies estimate an OS range of 7 to 62 months, the disease characteristics associated with these variable outcomes have not previously been identified.

For this retrospective study, researchers analyzed data from patients diagnosed with PBL between 2010 and 2016 to enumerate patient and disease characteristics predictive of conditional survival, a survival rate based on a specified survival period post-diagnosis, as well as lymphoma-specific survival (LSS) and OS.

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All data were obtained from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) population database. Overall, data from 248 patients (81.9% men) were included; the median age at diagnosis was 52 years.

In addition, 41% of patients had Ann Arbor stage I-II disease, and 45.2% had nodal disease status. The most common primary disease locations were nodal (44%), oral (23%), and gastrointestinal (19.4%).

Among 93 patients with known HIV status, 49 (52.7%) were HIV-positive.

Among treated patients, the 3- and 5-year OS rates were 54% and 52.8%, respectively. In addition, among patients surviving 2 and 3 years, 3-year conditional survival rates were, 90.3% and 97.8%, respectively, resembling that of the matched general population.

On multivariate analysis, disease oral primary location was linked with better OS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; 95% CI, 0.21-0.88; P =0.22) and LSS (subdistribution HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.02-2.96; P =.043). Furthermore HIV status did not affect OS outcomes.

The investigators noted that “chemotherapy treated patients have a chance to survive for prolonged period of time. These findings may help guide treatment of patients in routine practice and in clinical trials.”

Disclosures: Some authors have declared affiliations with or received funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Please refer to the original study for a full list of disclosures.


Florindez JA, Alderuccio JP, Reis IM, Lossos IS. Survival analysis in treated plasmablastic lymphoma patients: a population-based study. Am J Hematol. Published online August 10, 2020. doi:10.1002/ajh.25955