Diabetes mellitus, also known colloquially just as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar. Only a few population-based studies have investigated if there is an association with diabetes mellitus (DM) and the outcomes of lymphoma. The few studies that have investigated this topic until now have had inconclusive results.

Hsueh-Ju Lu et al., in a study that was recently published in the Annals of Hematology journal, investigated 468 patients who were newly diagnosed with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). These patients were receiving either first-line chemotherapy treatment with CHOP (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and prednisolone medications), or rituximab plus CHOP. The investigators also looked at which patients had the pre-existing condition of diabetes mellitus. From their results, they were able to conclude that while both progression-free survival and overall survival was less in patients who had diabetes mellitus who were in the CHOP group, however the survival rates for similar for patients who had diabetes mellitus and those who did not when they were taking CHOP and rituximab. They found that with rituximab use, the response rate of chemotherapy in patients with diabetes mellitus improved to the level of a non-DM patient. 

In short, while previously having diabetes mellitus and DLBC used to convey a worse prognosis, this study shows that adding rituximab to CHOP seems to overcome the adverse affect of having diabetes.

To read the article, check it out at:  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00277-013-1789-y


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