Immunochemotherapy for Richter syndrome: current insights.


Department of Hematology, Institute of Hematology and Transfusion Medicine, Warsaw, Poland, [Email]


Richter syndrome (RS) is recognized as the development of a secondary and aggressive lymphoma during the clinical course of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL). Most of such histological transformations are from RS to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL-RS, 90%) and Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL-RS, 10%). Histopathological examination is a prerequisite for diagnosis. It is crucial to assess the relationship between the RS clone and the underlying CLL/SLL because clonally related DLBCL-RS has a poor outcome, while clonally unrelated cases have a prognosis similar to de novo DLBCL. An anti-CD20 antibody-based immunochemotherapy is hitherto the frontline treatment of choice for DLBCL-RS; nonetheless, the results are unsatisfactory. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation should be offered to younger and fit patients as a consolidative treatment; however, the majority of the patients may not be qualified for this procedure. The HL-RS transformation has better outcomes than those of DLBCL-RS and can effectively be treated by the adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine regimen. Although novel agents are currently being investigated for RS, immunochemotherapy nevertheless remains a standard treatment for DLBCL-RS.


Hodgkin’s lymphoma,Richter syndrome,Richter transformation,chronic lymphocytic leukemia,diffuse large B-cell lymphoma,

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