High Levels of Soluble CD20 (sCD20) in patients with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL): Correlation with Clinical Behavior and Contrast with Patients with Hodgkin's Disease (HD)

Reviewer: William Levin, MD
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: December 10, 2001

Presenter: M. Albitar
Presenter's Affiliation: MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas
Type of Session: Scientific

Background

CD20 is a Glycoprotein transmembrane receptor found on mature B-cells.

Differences in the levels of surface CD20 on B-cells have been observed in different malignancies.

Anti-CD20 antibodies are now being used against certain B-Cell lymphomas.

In the current study, investigators use molecular techniques to identify differences in CD20 expression in patients with HD or NHL.

Materials and Methods

The soluble CD20 levels in sera of 65 pts with previously untreated NHL and 37 pts with untreated HD were examined.

sCD20 levels were detected using ELISA.

Results

Levels of sCD20 in pts with NHL were significantly higher than the HD pts (p=0.0001).

In the HD pts, sCD20 levels were similar or lower than normal controls.

On multivariate analysis, pts with high levels of sCD20 had shorter survival (p=0.04).

sCD20 levels decreased significantly after therapy in 34 pts with NHL.

Pts with high post-treatment sCD20 had shorter survival.

Author's Conclusions

sCD20 levels should be used as a part of staging, directing of therapy, and follow-up in pts with NHL.

It is unclear why sCD20 levels are lowere in HD pts.

Clinical/Scientific Implications
Although this a single, small study, there appears to be utility in assessing sCD20 levels in pts with NHL. Further studies are needed before this becomes a standard screening test or follow-up test.

Oncolink's ASH Coverage made possible by an unrestricted Educational Grant from Amgen.

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