Upper aerodigestive tract natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma (UNKTL) is the most common type of extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type. Serum beta2-microglobulin (β2-M) was found to be a predictor in some subtypes of B-cell lymphoma. However, its prognostic significance in NK/T-cell lymphoma has never been explored. We retrospectively analyzed 82 patients newly diagnosed as UNKTL. Serum β2-M was detected prior to treatment in this series. Various statistical analyses were performed to evaluate the significance of the relevant clinical parameters. High serum β2-M level was calculated as ≥2.5 mg/L by the median value. The number of patients with serum β2-M ≥2.5 mg/L at diagnosis was 39 (47.6%) and 43 patients (52.4%) with β2-M <2.5 mg/L. Patients with high serum β2-M level at diagnosis seemed to have more adverse clinical features: B symptoms (p = 0.007) and elevated LDH level (p < 0.001), and high KPI score (p = 0.002). Serum β2-M ≥2.5 mg/L was significantly associated with poor overall survival (5-year OS, 35.2% vs 73.6%; p = 0.001) and progression-free survival (5-year PFS, 27.5% vs 55.9%; p = 0.028). For patients with early stage, serum β2-M at diagnosis could also help to distinguish those with favorable outcomes from those with poor outcomes. In multivariate analysis, high serum β2-M level remained its prognostic impact on survival (OS: p = 0.002; PFS: p = 0.039), independent of the International Prognostic Index score. Our study suggested high serum β2-M was a novel predictor of prognosis in patients with UNKTL. A simply and regular way might be established to identify UNKTL patients of different risks at diagnosis.
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This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NO. 30400589, 81071950), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (NO. 10ykpy36), National-Eleventh Five Technology Major Project (NO. 2008ZX09312-002, 2012ZX09301), and Research Award Funds for Outstanding Young Researchers in Sun Yat-sen Cancer Center. The authors thank the patients and their families and all the investigators, including the physicians, nurses, and laboratory technicians in this study.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest.
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