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Oral Dis. 2009 Jan;15(1):38-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-0825.2008.01493.x. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

Plasmablastic lymphoma: a review.

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  • 1Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, European Institute of Oncology and University of Milan, Milan, Italy.


Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) has been recently characterised as an aggressive subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, most frequently arising in the oral cavity of HIV-infected patients. To date, approximately 60 cases fulfilling the clinico-pathological characteristics of PBL have been reported. PBLs are composed of large cells with eccentrically located nuclei and deeply basophilic cytoplasm with a paranuclear hof. The tumour cells are invariably immunoreactive for the plasma cell marker CD138, and show monoclonal rearrangement of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IgH) and/or clonal restriction of the Ig light chain (IgL) gene expression in most of the cases. Similar to other types of AIDS-related lymphomas, there is evidence that Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi-sarcoma associated Human Herpes Virus 8 may play a relevant role in the pathogenesis of PBL. PBL patients have been treated heterogeneously, with a combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and/or surgery, and their prognosis is usually poor, with a death rate of approximately 60% at 1 year.

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