Springer Nature

MicroRNAs associated to single drug components of R-CHOP identifies diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients with poor outcome and adds prognostic value to the international prognostic index

Posted on 2020-03-20 - 04:56
Abstract Background Treatment resistance is a major clinical challenge of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) where approximately 40% of the patients have refractory disease or relapse. Since DLBCL is characterized by great clinical and molecular heterogeneity, the purpose of the present study was to investigate whether miRNAs associated to single drug components of R-CHOP can improve robustness of individual markers and serve as a prognostic classifier. Methods Fifteen DLBCL cell lines were tested for sensitivity towards single drug compounds of the standard treatment R-CHOP: rituximab (R), cyclophosphamide (C), doxorubicin (H), and vincristine (O). For each drug, cell lines were ranked using the area under the dose-response curve and grouped as either sensitive, intermediate or resistant. Baseline miRNA expression data were obtained for each cell line in untreated condition, and differential miRNA expression analysis between sensitive and resistant cell lines identified 43 miRNAs associated to growth response after exposure towards single drugs of R-CHOP. Using the Affymetrix HG-U133 platform, expression levels of miRNA precursors were assessed in 701 diagnostic DLBCL biopsies, and miRNA-panel classifiers predicting disease progression were build using multiple Cox regression or random survival forest. Classifiers were validated and ranked by repeated cross-validation. Results Prognostic accuracies were assessed by Brier Scores and time-varying area under the ROC curves, which revealed better performance of multivariate Cox models compared to random survival forest models. The Cox model including miR-146a, miR-155, miR-21, miR-34a, and miR-23a~miR-27a~miR-24-2 cluster performed the best and successfully stratified GCB-DLBCL patients into high- and low-risk of disease progression. In addition, combination of the Cox miRNA-panel and IPI substantially increased prognostic performance in GCB classified patients. Conclusion As a proof of concept, we found that expression data of drug associated miRNAs display prognostic utility and adding these to IPI improves prognostic stratification of GCB-DLBCL patients treated with R-CHOP.


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