Standard Lymphocyte Test Now Applied to First Relapse

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have concluded that the application of a basic, standardized test given to patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) when they have their first relapse is a reliable indicator of survival.

The test is a peripheral blood absolute lymphocyte count (ALC), which measures the levels of lymphocytes in the blood among the total number of white blood cells. Normally, a high count is indicative of a viral infection, but in this case, a higher ALC count indicates a longer survival chances for DLBCL patients.

In the past, the ALC has been used when a patient is first diagnosed in order to predict survival and determine treatment, but this study is the first to link the absolute lymphocyte count to a patient's first relapse (ALC-R).

The results of this test at first relapse can help guide doctors in determining the next step in treatment, whether it be autologous stem cell transplantation or further chemotherapy, for example.

Published in February's American Journal of Hematology, the researchers ultimately concluded that the patient's immunity is an important variable predicting survival in first relapsed DLBCL."

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