Pretreatment whole blood Epstein-Barr virus-DNA is a significant prognostic marker in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma

Ji Hyun Park, Dok Hyun Yoon, Shin Kim, Jung Sun Park, Chan sik Park, Heungsup Sung, Sang Wook Lee, Jooryung Huh, Cheolwon Suh

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21 Scopus citations


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the peripheral blood has become a significant predictor of clinical outcomes in EBV-associated Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). However, due to its relative rarity, prevalence and prognostic role of circulating EBV-DNA has not been well established in Asian patients. Seventy patients with newly diagnosed HL were prospectively registered between October 2007 and January 2013, and underwent pretreatment whole blood (WB) EBV-DNA quantitation using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). WB EBV-DNA in baseline and serial RT-PCR within 1 year were investigated. Clinicopathologic parameters of the patients according to pretreatment WB EBV-DNA were also explored. Twelve patients (17.1 %) demonstrated WB EBV-DNA(+), which was significantly associated to older age, advanced stages, frequent involvements of extranodal sites, low serum albumin and hemoglobin levels, and high international prognostic scores ≥2. Three-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were significantly inferior in patients with pretreatment WB EBV-DNA(+) (53.5 vs 67.0 and 65.6 vs 90.2 %) (p < 0.032 and <0.01). Negatively conversed EBV-DNA within 1 year after chemotherapy also significantly affected favorable EFS (p < 0.01). Taken together, pretreatment WB EBV-DNA(+) may be a significant predictor of inferior EFS and OS over EBV-encoded RNA in situ hybridization (EBER-ISH)(+) in Korean patients with HL. Serial EBV-DNA monitoring following chemotherapy also seems helpful to predict survival outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-808
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • DNA
  • EBV
  • Hodgkin disease
  • Prognosis
  • Whole blood


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