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Rev Bras Hematol Hemoter. 2012;34(6):447-51. doi: 10.5581/1516-8484.20120111.

Pathophysiology and molecular aspects of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo - USP, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Diffuse large B-Cell lymphoma is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the West. In Brazil, it is the fifth cause of cancer, with more than 55,000 cases and 26,000 deaths per year. At Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo - HCFMUSP, diffuse large B-Cell lymphoma represents 49.7% of all non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases. Initially, the classification of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was based on morphology, but advances in immunology and molecular medicine allowed the introduction of a biological classification for these diseases. As for other cancers, non-Hodgkin lymphoma involves patterns of multifactorial pathogenesis with environmental factors, as well as genetic, occupational and dietary factors, contributing to its development. Multiple lesions involving molecular pathways of B-cell proliferation and differentiation may result in the activation of oncogenes such as the BCL2, BCL6, and MYC genes and the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes such as p53 and INK4, as well as other important transcription factors such as OCT-1 and OCT-2. A dramatic improvement in survival was seen after the recent introduction of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody. The association of this antibody to the cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin, oncovin and prednisolone (CHOP) regimen has increased overall survival of diffuse large B-Cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma patients by 20%. However, 50% of all diffuse large B-Cell lymphoma patients remain incurable, creating a demand for more research with new advances in treatment. Thus, it is important to know and understand the key factors and molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of diffuse large B-Cell lymphoma.


Genes, tumor suppressor; Lymphoma; Lymphoma, B-cell/physiopathology; Oncogenes; Prognosis

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