Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary On the basis of the retrospective analysis of 405 patients, suggesting the clinical relevance of the Kiel classification of non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL), a prospective multicenter study was started on October 1st, 1975, by the Kiel Lymphoma Study Group in order to further clarify the clinical and prognostic features of the different lymphoma entities defined by this histopathologic scheme. Diagnostic protocol provides initial staging evaluation according to a modification of the Ann Arbor classification. Therapeutic approach is based on the hypothesis that, like Hodgkin's disease, NHL originate, at least in part, as localized lymphatic or extralymphatic tumors. Thus, extended field irradiation is performed in stages I and II (except for lymphoblastic lymphoma in children and young adults) whereas in the more advanced stages III and IV (except for stage III of centroblastic-centrocytic lymphoma) chemotherapy with additional radiotherapy is applied. Until June 1979, 815 patients entered the study (69.7% with NHL of low-grade malignancy). For the interim evaluation underlying the present and the other papers of this series data of 511 patients were available. Survival of patients with NHL of low-grade malignancy significantly exceeds that of patients with NHL of high-grade malignancy. NHL with good prognosis such as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and centroblastic-centrocytic lymphoma can be differentiated from NHL with a poor course such as lymphoblastic and immunoblastic lymphomas. In addition, the existence of a third group with an intermediate prognosis comprising centrocytic and centroblastic lymphomas and, possibly, also LP immunocytoma is suggested. However, different initial slope of survival curves shows that this latter group of NHL is not homogeneous with regard to prognosis.
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