Serum albumin level at diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: an important simple prognostic factor

Osnat Bairey, Adi Shacham-Abulafia, Ofer Shpilberg, Ronit Gurion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


This study compared the value of several simple laboratory parameters with known prognostic models for predicting survival in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The data of 157 adult patients with DLBCL diagnosed at Rabin Medical Center in 2004–2008 and treated with R-CHOP immunochemotherapy were retrospectively reviewed. Main clinical features of the cohort were as follows: mean age 63.0 years, 43% male, 63% stage III/IV disease, 28% ECOG performance status >2, 60% elevated lactate dehydrogenase level. Median duration of follow-up was 6.6 years. The NCCN-International Prognostic Index (IPI) was found to be a more powerful prognosticator than the IPI. Five-year overall survival (OS) was 69.6; 73.6% for patients with intermediate NCCN-IPI and 38.4% for patients with poor NCCN-IPI. On univariate analysis, pretreatment hemoglobin and albumin levels were significantly associated with survival. By albumin level, 5-year OS was 77.6 + 4% in patients with >3.5 g/dl and 53 + 7% in patients with <3.5 g/dl (p < 0.001); 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 69.9% and 50.9%, respectively (p = 0.002). By hemoglobin level, 5-year OS was 82.9 + 4.5% in patients with >12 g/dl and 58.8 + 5% in patients with <12 g/dl (p = 0.007); 5-year PFS was 75.5% and 54.1%, respectively (p = 0.008). On multivariate analysis with Cox regression, pretreatment albumin level was a significant independent predictor of OS. Furthermore, 5-year OS of patients with a high NCCN-IPI and albumin < 3.5 g/dl was 29.2% compared with 60% in patients with albumin > 3.5 g/dl (p = 0.022). In conclusion, pretreatment albumin level is a strong prognostic factor for OS in patients with DLBCL and can discriminate high-risk patients for good and poor prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-192
Number of pages9
JournalHematological Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • International Prognostic Index
  • albumin
  • diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • hemoglobin
  • prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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