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Molecular profiling in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: why so many types of subtypes?

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Morin, Ryan D 
Arthur, Sarah E 


The term diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) includes a heterogeneous collection of biologically distinct tumours. This heterogeneity currently presents a barrier to the successful deployment of novel, biologically targeted therapies. Molecular profiling studies have recently proposed new molecular classification systems. These have the potential to resolve the biological heterogeneity of DLBCL into manageable subgroups of tumours that rely on shared oncogenic programmes. In many cases these biological programmes straddle the boundaries of our existing systems for classifying B-cell lymphomas. Here we review the findings from these major molecular profiling studies with a specific focus on those that propose new genetic subgroups of DLBCL. We highlight the areas of consensus and discordance between these studies and discuss the implications for current clinical practice and for clinical trials. Finally, we address the outstanding challenges and solutions to the introduction of genomic subtyping and precision medicine in DLBCL.



cancer genetics, classifications, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, lymphomas, mutation analysis, Gene Expression Profiling, Genomics, Humans, Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse, Prognosis

Journal Title

Br J Haematol

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Wellcome Trust (203151/Z/16/Z)
Cancer Research UK (A25117)
Cancer Research UK (RCCFEL\100072)
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)
Medical Research Council (MC_PC_17230)