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1629 Heavy Chain Disease in the United States: Analysis of Incidence, Patient Characteristics and Survival Outcomes

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 652. Multiple Myeloma and Plasma cell Dyscrasias: Clinical and Epidemiological: Poster I
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Epidemiology, Clinical Research, Health Outcomes Research, Clinically Relevant, Registries
Saturday, December 11, 2021, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM

Fnu Amisha, MD1, Manojna Konda, MD2*, Paras Malik, MD3*, Tyler Fugere, MD1*, Arya Mariam Roy, MD4* and Akash Mukherjee, MD5

1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
2Department of Haematology and Oncology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
3Department of Internal Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine- Jacobi Medical center, Bronx, NY
4Department of Haematology and Oncology, Roswell park comprehensive cancer center, Amherst, NY
5Department of Haematology/Oncology, Division of Stem cell transplantation and Cellular Therapy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR


Heavy chain diseases (HCDs) are B-cell neoplasms characterised by production of monoclonal (M) protein consisting only of immunoglobulin heavy chain without a bound light chain. Three types have been recognized- IgA alpha HCD (most common, a form of extra nodal marginal zone lymphoma of mucosal associated lymphoid tissue aka immunoproliferative small intestinal disease [IPSID], Mediterranean lymphoma or Seligmann disease], IgG gamma HCD (aka Franklin’s disease, variant of lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma) and IgM mu HCD (rarest, resembles chronic lymphocytic leukemia). Limited data is available regarding the epidemiology, survival patterns, and incidence of second primary malignancies in patients with HCD in the Unites States.


We performed a retrospective analysis using SEER* stat version 8.3.9 statistical software and November 2020 submission of SEER 18 registry which covers ~ 27.8 % of US population based on the 2010 census. We identified all cases > 1 years old diagnosed with Heavy chain disease between 2000 and 2018 using International Classification of Diseases for Oncology edition 3 (ICD-O-3) code 9762/3. We analyzed survival using Kaplan- Meier method, and MP-SIR session was used to calculate the risk of second primary malignancy.


A total of 64 cases of HCD were identified. Most common primary sites of involvement were bone marrow (82.8%), lymph nodes (9.3%), GI tract (3.1%), others (4.6%)- spleen, blood and vertebral column. The crude, age-adjusted to 2000 US standard population and age-specific incidence rate of HCD in the United States is < 1/100,000 respectively. The median age at diagnosis is 68 years with incidence in males being about 1.3 times that of females. Bimodal age distribution was observed, with peak incidence between ages 60-64 and 75-79 [Figure 1]. In our entire cohort, 82.8% (n=53) patients were Caucasians, 15.6 % (n=10) patients were African Americans, and 1.5% (n=1) patients were American Indian/Alaska Native. Among Caucasians, 56.6% (n=30) patients were males, and 43.3% (n=23) patients were females. Between 2000-2018, the maximum cases (n=7 each) were diagnosed in the year 2002 and 2008 [Figure 2]

The median overall survival for the entire cohort was 48 months (95% CI: 35- 61). Overall survival rates of all ages, sex and race at 1 year, 2 year and 5 years were found to be 86.1%, 71.4%, 57.8% respectively. OS at 5 years declines after 70 years .Patients with HCD are at risk of developing subsequent solid and haematological malignancies within 5 years of diagnosis. 9 (14 %) cases developed SPMs: urinary bladder (n=1), lung and bronchus (n=2), Hodgkin-nodal (n=1), Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma -extra nodal (n=1), GI cancers [stomach (n=1), esophagus (n=1) and ascending colon (n=1)], miscellaneous (n=1). [Figure 4]. The mean follow-up duration for new SPM was 51 months. Overall, 39 patients died: 3 (4%) from miscellaneous malignant cancer and 11 (17%) patients from haematological malignancy; the most common being Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n=8), followed by Hodgkin lymphoma (n=1), Multiple myeloma (n=1) and leukemia (n=1).


HCD is an extremely rare haematological malignancy. The incidence of HCD is proportionately higher among Caucasians as compared to other races, with no reported case among Asian or Pacific Islanders. Among Caucasians, males and females have approximately equal risk of acquiring HCD. Most patient die because of their primary haematological malignancy. We recommend close follow-up for at least the first 5 years after initial diagnosis.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH