ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence for the role of chronic antigenic stimulation (CS) in the development of cancer. Clinical data, however, are rare as is the information on outcome. In this study, the occurrence of chronic infections (CI) and autoimmune diseases (AI) in patients with malignant lymphoma at diagnosis was assessed. Of 367 patients [non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) N = 297, Hodgkin's lymphoma N = 70], 9.8% (N = 36) had a history of chronic antigenic stimulation (4.4% AI, 5.4% CI) at diagnosis. After a median observation time of 74.7 months, 118 patients have died. There were more male patients in this cohort. However, sex ratio among patients with chronic antigenic stimulation was skewed in favor of women (p = 0.018), in particular among lymphoma patients with AI (p = 0.001). NHL patients with autoimmune diseases showed a tendency to develop diffuse large B cell lymphoma [8 of 12 AI + NHL patients (66.7%) vs. 100 of 266 non-CS NHL (37.6%); p = 0.066]. No significant difference in overall survival (OS) between CS and non-CS patients could be observed (median OS after 48 months was: CS 77.7% vs. non-CS 71.8%). In conclusion, chronic antigenic stimulation at diagnosis appears to be associated with a higher prevalence in women, in particular among patients with autoimmune disease. However, no difference in overall survival was observed. This suggests that the presence of chronic inflammatory conditions does not decisively influence the outcome of lymphoma patients.
Annals of Hematology 02/2011; 90(8):947-54. · 2.62 Impact Factor