The impact of structural factors on diagnostic delay in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Academic Article


  • Background: Reducing diagnostic delays in cancer has been a major interest worldwide; however, the literature on diagnostic delays in lymphoma remains scarce. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We aimed to determine whether certain structural factors predicted diagnostic delays in DLBCL and whether diagnostic delays impacted overall survival (OS). Methods: Data were extracted via a retrospective cohort design from a single academic tertiary care referral center. A total of 104 patients were included. Time from first symptoms to diagnosis of <3 months was defined as “early diagnosis” and ≥3 months as “delayed diagnosis”. Analysis was performed with student's t-test, chi-square testing, binomial logistic regression, and Kaplan-Meier log-rank testing. Results: “Delayed diagnosis” was more likely with lower stage, lower international prognostic index (IPI), and further distance from referral center (OR 0.66, CI 0.46-0.95; OR 0.69, CI 0.51-0.94; OR 1.008, CI 1.001-1.015). Patients of “other” ethnicity and without medical insurance were more likely to have significant diagnostic delays and worse overall survival (P = 0.002 and P = 0.007, respectively). Diagnostic delays of ≥3 months did not predict worse OS. However, delays of >6 months did predict worse OS. Conclusion: Our data suggest that excessive diagnostic delays of more than 6 months, ethnic minority status, and uninsured status in DLBCL may lead to worse outcomes. Efforts should be undertaken to reduce excessive diagnostic delays. More investigation needs to be done on the impacts of diagnostic delays in both DLBCL and other aggressive lymphomas.
  • Published In

  • Cancer Medicine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zurko JC; Wade RC; Mehta A
  • Start Page

  • 1416
  • End Page

  • 1422
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 4