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Mod Pathol. 2013 Jan;26 Suppl 1:S42-56. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2012.178. Epub 2012 Nov 16.

Aggressive B-cell lymphomas: how many categories do we need?

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Department of Pathology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Aggressive B-cell lymphomas are diverse group of neoplasms that arise at different stages of B-cell development and by various mechanisms of neoplastic transformation. The aggressive B-cell lymphomas include many types, subtypes and variants of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), Burkitt lymphoma (BL), mantle cell lymphoma and its blastoid variant, and B lymphoblastic lymphoma. Differences in histology, cytogenetic and molecular abnormalities, as well as the relationship with the tumor microenvironment, help define characteristic signatures for these neoplasms, and in turn dictate potential therapeutic targets. Rather than survey the entire spectrum of aggressive B-cell lymphomas, this report aims to identify and characterize important clinically aggressive subtypes of DLBCL, and explore the relationship of DLBCL to BL and the gray zone between them (B-cell lymphoma unclassifiable with features intermediate between DLBCL and BL).

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