B Cell Lymphoma Survival Rate and Life Expectancy: Revised International Prognostic Index

B cell lymphoma is not one disease but a few dozen heterogeneous diseases, or individual cancers, that affect the b-cells in the lymphatic system. However, the most common type of b cell lymphoma is diffuse large b-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and researchers have come up with a rather handy method of determining prognosis for people with DLBCL ( Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma life expectancy). The method is known by its initials, the R-IPI, which stands for the Revised International Prognostic Index.

The R-IPI works by identifying a specific patient group—those who have been diagnosed with DLBCL and who are then treated with the R-CHOP chemotherapeutic regimen.

The R-IPI asks five questions, and assigns a point per question when called for.

  1. Is the patient younger or older than 60? If younger, 0 points. If 60 or older, 1 point.
  2. What is the patient's ECOG performance status score? [see * below]. If 0-2, 0 points. If 3-4, 1 point.
  3. Is the patient's LDH normal or elevated? If normal, 0 points. If elevated, 1 point.
  4. How many extranodal sites are involved? If no more than 1, 0 points. If 2 or more, 1 point.
  5. What stage disease? If the patient's cancer is stage I or II, 0 points. If III or IV, 1 point.

B Cell Lymphoma Life Expectancy: The R-IPI then identifies three prognostic groups according to points.

  • 0 points: Prognosis, Very good (4-year progression-free survival 94%, overall survival, 94%)
  • 1-2 points: Prognosis, Good (4-year PFS 80%, OS 79%)
  • 3-5 points: Prognosis, Poor (4-year PFS 53%, OS 55%)

The R-IPI doesn't recognize risk groups with a perceived B cell lymphoma survival rate of under 50%.

Researchers are always looking for new methods to determine survival rates, especially among b cell lymphomas, because they are so common, but readers should be aware of the limitations of these indices since each person is different and each person's cancer is also different. It is also important to note that survival does not equal a cure.

*ECOG status: This is a scale to determine how a disease affects a patient's daily life. To see what each score means, refer to this explanation offered by the National Cancer Institute.

Source: Sehn LH et al. The revised International Prognostic Index (R-IPI) is a better predictor of outcome than the standard IPI for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated with R-CHOP Blood

Photo: Pexels

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