A study published in the journal Cancers sought to determine the global prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus-positive (EBV+) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and to clearly characterize the cut-off for EBV-encoded RNA (EBER) positivity in tumor cells.
In this study, researchers combed PubMed and EMBASE for studies published up to May 28, 2020, that reported proportions of EBER positivity in immunocompetent patients with de novo DLBCL. They used an inverse variance method to compute the data. Multiple subgroup analyses were conducted to explore any heterogeneity, the researchers noted. In total, they analyzed 31 studies comprised of 8,249 patients.
According to the results, the pooled proportion of EBV+ DLBCL was 7.9% (95% confidence interval, 6.2-10.0%) with marked heterogeneity among studies. The researchers observed a notably higher prevalence of EBV+ DLBCL in Asia and South America compared to Western countries. The cut-offs for EBER positivity (10%, 20%, and 50%) and patients’ age (≥50 years vs. <50 years) did not significantly affect the prevalence (P≥0.10).
The researchers wrote of the study that “EBV+ DLBCL is rare with a pooled proportion of 7.9% in patients with DLBCL and the geographic heterogeneity was confirmed.”