Background: Patients with natural killer (NK) cell neoplasms, aggressive NK cell leukemia (ANKL) and extranodal NK cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKL), have poor outcome. Both diseases show a spectrum and the boundary of them remains unclear. The purpose of this study is to draw a prognostic model of total NK cell neoplasms. Patients and methods: We retrospectively analyzed 172 patients (22 with ANKL and 150 with ENKL). The ENKLs consisted of 123 nasal and 27 extranasal (16 cutaneous, 9 hepatosplenic, 1 intestinal and 1 nodal) lymphomas. Results: Complete remission rate for ENKL was 73% in stage I, but 15% in stage IV, which was consistent with that for ANKL (18%). The prognosis of ENKL was better than that of ANKL (median survival 10 versus 1.9 months, P < 0.0001) but was comparable when restricted to stage IV cases (4.0 months, P = 0.16). Multivariate analysis showed that four factors (non-nasal type, stage, performance status and numbers of extranodal involvement) were significant prognostic factors. Using these four variables, an NK prognostic index was successfully constructed. Four-year overall survival of patients with zero, one, two and three or four adverse factors were 55%, 33%, 15% and 6%, respectively. Conclusion: The current prognostic model successfully stratified patients with NK cell neoplasms with different outcomes.
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