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Risk factors associated with Richter's transformation in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: protocol for a retrospective population-based cohort study

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INTRODUCTION: Richter's transformation (RT) refers to the development of an aggressive lymphoma in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma. Studies have shown that 2-10% of patients with CLL develop RT including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and less common Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). This study aims to assess the risk factors for RT of CLL in a nationwide cohort. Additionally, we want to examine prognostic factors in patients with RT. These findings may guide management of treated as well as untreated patients with CLL in the risk of RT.

METHODS: Clinical data for patients diagnosed with CLL between 2008 and 2016 will be retrieved from the Danish National CLL registry (DCLLR). Using the Danish unique person identification number, clinical data will be merged with histologically verified DLBCL and/or HL diagnoses retrieved from the Danish National Pathology Data Bank. This will ensure complete follow-up for all patients.The DCLLR includes data from more than 4000 patients with CLL ensuring a median follow-up of 3 years. With the reported incidences (2-10%) of RT, we expect to identify 80-200 CLL patients with RT enabling analysis of overall survival following RT. From time of CLL diagnosis, estimates of cumulative incidence of RT will be calculated using the Aalen-Johansen estimator. From time of RT diagnosis, survival analysis will be performed by Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazards models will be used for multivariable survival analysis.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Approvals for data collection and analysis was obtained from the Danish Data Protection Agency and the Danish Health Authorities. All data will be managed confidentially according to guidelines and legislation. The dissemination will include a publication of scientific papers and/or presentations of the study findings at international conferences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Volume9
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)e023566
ISSN2044-6055
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2019

ID: 57442942