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Blood. 2015 Jan 1;125(1):22-32. doi: 10.1182/blood-2014-05-577189. Epub 2014 Dec 11.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: optimizing outcome in the context of clinical and biologic heterogeneity.

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Division of Medical Oncology and Department of Pathology, Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, British Columbia Cancer Agency and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Although the majority of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) can be cured with standard rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP), patients who fail R-CHOP have a dismal outcome. Thus, optimization of front-line therapy, as well as the development of more effective salvage strategies, remains an important objective. Advances in molecular genetics have vastly improved our understanding of the biological diversity of DLBCL and have led to the discovery of key oncogenic pathways. In addition to the major molecular designations of germinal center B-cell and activated B-cell subtypes, next-generation sequencing technologies have unveiled the remarkable complexity of DLBCL and identified unique molecular targets that may be differentially exploited for therapeutic benefit. These findings have translated into a growing list of promising novel agents. Moving forward, it is of paramount importance to recognize the heterogeneity of DLBCL and to investigate these targeted agents within patient populations who are most likely to benefit. It will be necessary to prioritize drugs that affect key driver pathways and to combine them rationally to optimize their benefit. Improved prognostication and the availability of predictive biomarkers will be crucial to allow for the possibility of individualized risk-adapted therapy.

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