Sixty-four adult patients with lymphoblastic lymphoma (LB) identified according to Kiel Classification were analyzed retrospectively. Three distinct clinical presentations were identified: prevalent abdominal disease (29 pts = 45.3%), prevalent mediastinal disease (14 pts = 21.9%) and prevalent superficial node involvement (21 pts = 32.8%). On histological grounds, the patients with abdominal disease were mainly associated to "Burkitt like" cell lymphoma (55%); patients with mediastinal disease to convoluted cell type (58%); and those with superficial node disease to unclassified cell type (48%). Immunological studies showed a significant correlation between mediastinal disease and T phenotype (P = 0.0011), abdominal disease and B phenotype (P = 0.00042), and between superficial node disease and non-B non-T phenotype (P = 0.00024). Survival was independent of the type of clinical presentation and protocol employed but was correlated with the stage (P <0.0005), symptoms (P <0.025), bulky disease (P <0.025) and bone marrow involvement (P <0.025). Furthermore the response to therapy was strongly correlated with prognosis (P <0.0001) with 34.5 months median survival for complete responders, 9 months for partial responders, and 3 months for non-responders. Four patients underwent bone marrow transplantation (three autologous and one allogeneic BMT in a patient in leukemic phase); three of them are still in CR (18, 22 and 27 months from the transplant) while one patient had an early relapse and died 3 months later.
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