a report from the International DLBCL Rituximab-CHOP Consortium Program Study
CD30, originally identified as a cell-surface marker of Reed-Sternberg and Hodgkin cells of classical Hodgkin lymphoma, is also expressed by several types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including a subset of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). However, the prognostic and biological importance of CD30 expression in DLBCL is unknown. Here we report that CD30 expression is a favorable prognostic factor in a cohort of 903 de novo DLBCL patients. CD30 was expressed in ∼14% of DLBCL patients. Patients with CD30(+) DLBCL had superior 5-year overall survival (CD30(+), 79% vs CD30(-), 59%; P = .001) and progression-free survival (P = .003). The favorable outcome of CD30 expression was maintained in both the germinal center B-cell and activated B-cell subtypes. Gene expression profiling revealed the upregulation of genes encoding negative regulators of nuclear factor κB activation and lymphocyte survival, and downregulation of genes encoding B-cell receptor signaling and proliferation, as well as prominent cytokine and stromal signatures in CD30(+) DLBCL patients, suggesting a distinct molecular basis for its favorable outcome. Given the superior prognostic value, unique gene expression signature, and significant value of CD30 as a therapeutic target for brentuximab vedotin in ongoing successful clinical trials, it seems appropriate to consider CD30(+) DLBCL as a distinct subgroup of DLBCL.