Targeting pathological B cell receptor signalling in lymphoid malignancies

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2013 Mar;12(3):229-43. doi: 10.1038/nrd3937.


Signalling through the B cell receptor (BCR) is central to the development and maintenance of B cells. In light of the numerous proliferative and survival pathways activated downstream of the BCR, it comes as no surprise that malignant B cells would co-opt this receptor to promote their own growth and survival. However, direct evidence for BCR signalling in human lymphoma has only come to light recently. Roles for antigen-dependent and antigen-independent, or tonic, BCR signalling have now been described for several different lymphoma subtypes. Furthermore, correlative data implicate antigen-dependent BCR signalling in many other forms of lymphoma. A host of therapeutic agents targeting effectors of the BCR signalling pathway are now in clinical trials and have shown initial success against multiple forms of lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / physiology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Lymphoma / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma / physiopathology*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / drug effects
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases