Introduction: Hematologic malignancies are currently underrepresented in multidisciplinary molecular-tumor-boards (MTB). This study assesses the potential of precision-oncology in primary-refractory plasmablastic-lymphoma (prPBL), a highly lethal blood cancer. Methods: We evaluated clinicopathological and molecular-genetic data of 14 clinically annotated prPBL-patients from initial diagnosis. For this proof-of-concept study, we employed our certified institutional MTB-pipeline (University-Cancer-Center-Schleswig-Holstein, UCCSH) to annotate a comprehensive dataset within the scope of a virtual MTB-setting, ultimately recommending molecularly stratified therapies. Evidence-levels for MTB-recommendations were defined in accordance with the NCT/DKTK and ESCAT criteria. Results: Median age in the cohort was 76.5 years (range 56-91), 78.6% of patients were male, 50% were HIV-positive and clinical outcome was dismal. Comprehensive genomic/transcriptomic analysis revealed potential recommendations of a molecularly stratified treatment option with evidence-levels according to NCT/DKTK of at least m2B/ESCAT of at least IIIA were detected for all 14 prPBL-cases. In addition, immunohistochemical-assessment (CD19/CD30/CD38/CD79B) revealed targeted treatment-recommendations in all 14 cases. Genetic alterations were classified by treatment-baskets proposed by Horak et al. Hereby, we identified tyrosine-kinases (TK; n=4), PI3K-MTOR-AKT-pathway (PAM; n=3), cell-cycle-alterations (CC; n=2), RAF-MEK-ERK-cascade (RME; n=2), immune-evasion (IE; n=2), B-cell-targets (BCT; n=25) and others (OTH; n=4) for targeted treatment-recommendations. The minimum requirement for consideration of a drug within the scope of the study was FDA-fast-track development. Discussion: The presented proof-of-concept study demonstrates the clinical potential of precision-oncology, even in prPBL-patients. Due to the aggressive course of the disease, there is an urgent medical-need for personalized treatment approaches, and this population should be considered for MTB inclusion at the earliest time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1129405
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Pages (from-to)1129405
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)
  • Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)
  • Research Area: Medical Genetics

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-14 Haematology, Oncology
  • 201-05 General Genetics and Functional Genomics
  • 201-07 Bioinformatics and Theoretical Biology
  • 205-01 Epidemiology, Medical Biometrics/Statistics
  • 205-03 Human Genetics


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