In this study we assessed the prognostic significance of absolute monocyte count and selected the best cut-off value at diagnosis in a large cohort of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Data were retrieved for therapy-naïve patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma followed in Israel and Italy during 1993-2010. A final cohort of 1017 patients was analyzed with a median follow up of 48 months and a 5-year overall survival rate of 68%. The best absolute monocyte count cut-off level was 630/mm3 and the 5-year overall survival for patients with counts below this cut-off was 71%, whereas it was 59% for those with a count >630 mm3 (P=0.0002). Of the 1017 patients, 521 (51%) were treated with chemo-immunotherapy, and in this cohort, using multivariate analysis, elevated monocyte count retained a negative prognostic value even when adjusted for International Prognostic Index (HR1.54, P=0.009). This large study shows that a simple parameter such as absolute monocyte count (>630/mm3) can easily be used routinely in the evaluation of newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma to identify high-risk patients with a worse survival in the rituximab era.
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