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Survival after diffuse large B-cell lymphoma among children, adolescents, and young adults in California, 2001-2014: A population-based study.

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This population-based study considered the influence of rituximab on the survival of children (0-19 years), adolescents, and young adults (AYAs, 20-39 years) with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), including patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.


Data on 642 children and AYAs diagnosed with DLBCL during 2001-2014 were obtained from the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry in California. Facility-level reports provided treatment details. The Kaplan-Meier method estimated survival and Cox regression models examined the association between survival and rituximab use, adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical factors.


Rituximab use increased from 2001-2007 to 2008-2014 among children (from 32% to 48%), AYAs (from 68% to 84%), and HIV patients (from 57% to 67%). Five-year survival was higher among children (91%) than AYAs (82%). On multivariable analysis, the hazard of death was 44% lower among rituximab recipients, and higher among uninsured patients, those with HIV, and those with advanced stage at diagnosis. HIV patients who received rituximab were 60% less likely to die than nonrecipients.


Our study suggests a benefit of rituximab on the treatment of AYAs and HIV patients with DLBCL. The worse survival observed among HIV-positive and uninsured patients is of concern and calls for further investigation. Careful consideration should be given on whether to recommend rituximab more often on the front-line treatment of children and HIV-positive patients with DLBCL.

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