Immunohistochemical and other prognostic factors in B cell non Hodgkin lymphoma patients, Kampala, Uganda

Lynnette K. Tumwine, Claudio Agostinelli, Cristina Campidelli, Emmanuel Othieno, Henry Wabinga, Simona Righi, Brunangelo Falini, Pier Paolo Piccaluga, Wilson Byarugaba, Stefano A. Pileri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Non Hodgkin lymphomas are the most common lymphomas in Uganda. Recent studies from developed countries have shown differences in survival for the different immunophenotypes. Such studies are lacking in Africa where diagnosis is largely dependent on morphology alone. We report immunohistochemical and other prognostic factors in B cell non Hodgkin lymphoma patients in Kampala, Uganda. Methods. Non Hodgkin lymphoma tissue blocks from the archives of the Department of Pathology, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda, from 1991-2000, were sub typed using haematoxylin and eosin, Giemsa as well as immunohistochemistry. Using tissue micro array, 119 biopsies were subjected to: CD3, CD5, CD10, CD20, CD23, CD30, CD38, CD79a, CD138, Bcl-6, Bcl-2, IRTA-1, MUM1/IRF4, Bcl-1/cyclin D1, TdT, ALKc, and Ki-67/Mib1. Case notes were retrieved for: disease stage, chemotherapy courses received and retrospective follow up was done for survival. Results. Non Hodgkin B cell lymphomas comprised of Burkitt lymphoma [BL] (95/119) diffuse large B cell lymphoma (19/119), mantle cell lymphoma (4/119) and precursor B lymphoblastic lymphoma (1/119). For Burkitt lymphoma, good prognosis was associated with receiving chemotherapy, female gender and CD30 positivity. Only receiving chemotherapy remained significant after Cox regression analysis. Diffuse large B cell lymphomas with activated germinal centre B cell (GCB) pattern (CD10, BCL-6, MUM, CD138) had better survival (98.4 months; 95% CI 89.5 -107.3) than the others (57.3 months; 95% CI 35.5 - 79.0) p = 0.027 (log rank test). Conclusions. Activated GCB diffuse large B cell lymphoma had a better prognosis than the others. For Burkitt lymphoma, not receiving chemotherapy carried a poor prognosis. Availability of chemotherapy in this resource limited setting is critical for survival of lymphoma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalBMC Clinical Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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