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Curr Opin Oncol. 2004 Sep;16(5):436-41.

Emerging prognostic factors in diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

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Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, BC Cancer Agency & the University of British Columbia, 600 W. 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4E6, Canada.



Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoma subtype, characterized by marked clinical and biologic heterogeneity. Gene expression studies together with new monoclonal antibody production are playing an increasing role in determining important prognostic factors/biomarkers predictive of outcome. Despite these technical advances, much confusion exists in the literature as to what constitutes the important biomarkers for determining patient outcome. The purpose of this review is to highlight recent advances in our understanding of novel biomarkers in DLBCL and how these might be incorporated into current risk-adjustment models for prognosis.


Microarray gene expression analyses have revolutionized our approach to biomarkers in non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Thousands of genes can now be simultaneously analyzed for individual patients, creating a wealth of new data. This has resulted in an improved understanding of the basic biology, as well as the development of new outcome predictors. Monoclonal antibody reagents for some of these biomarkers already exist, allowing for their rapid validation at the level of protein expression and potential clinical translation.


A molecular classification of DLBCL is a current reality, and together with routine morphology, immunophenotype, and molecular cytogenetics, has allowed us to more accurately subclassify DLBCL and determine clinically relevant subgroups. The time is right to begin to consider how these novel biomarkers should be incorporated into current prognostic models to move beyond the clinically based International Prognostic Index

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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