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Biomark Insights. 2007 Nov 11;2:403-17.

Prognostic Significance of in situ Phenotypic Marker Expression in Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphomas.

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Department of Pathology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.


Diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) are the most common lymphoid malignancies, and encompass all malignant lymphomas characterized by large neoplastic cells and B-cell derivation. In the last decade, DLBCL has been subjected to intense clinical, phenotypic and molecular studies, and were found to represent a heterogeneous group of tumors. These studies suggested new disease subtypes and variants with distinct clinical characteristics, morphologies, immunophenotypes, genotypes or gene expression profiles, associated with distinct prognoses or unique sensitivities to particular therapy regimens. Unfortunately, the reliability and reproducibility of the molecular results remains unclear due to contradictory reports in the literature resulting from small sample sizes, referral and selection biases, and variable methodologies and cut-off levels used to determine positivity. Here, we review phenotypic studies on the prognostic significance of protein expression profiles in DLBCL and reconsider our own retrospective data on 301 primary DLBCL cases obtained on a previously validated tissue microarray in light of powerful statistical methods of determining optimal cut-off values of phenotypic factors for prediction of outcome.


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Phenotype; Prognosis; Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves; Tissue microarray


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