A new study published in Blood suggests a connection between socioeconomic status (SES) and survival among patients with diffuse large b-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Researchers conducted a retrospective, population-based analysis of more than 33,000 patients with DLBCL living in California from 1988 to 2009. They found that patients living in lower SES neighborhoods had higher risk for both all-cause and lymphoma-specific death when compared with those living in higher SES neighborhoods. Additionally, results revealed improvements in survival among patients diagnosed from 2001 to 2009 versus 1988 to 2000. Large disparities in survival, however, persisted, with patients living in lowest 20% of SES neighborhoods having a 34% increased risk of all-cause death and a 24% increased risk of DLBCL-specific death when compared with those living in the top 20% of SES neighborhoods. The researchers noted racial disparities as well. Although insurance coverage and financial burden were important, amore extensive study of the complex interaction among biological, environmental, social, and patient-centered factors is necessary, authors of this accompanying editorial wrote.
DLBCL is the most commonly occurring form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the Western world, comprising one-third of all lymphomas in adults. Untreated DLBCL patients have an expected survival of <1 year, whereas with modern chemoimmunotherapy 75% of patients achieve complete remission and 64% of these individuals are alive, disease-free at 10 years, and cured.