Anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive large B-cell lymphoma: Clinico-pathological study of 17 cases with review of literature

PLoS One. 2017 Jun 30;12(6):e0178416. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178416. eCollection 2017.


We retrospectively analysed 17 cases of anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive large B-cell lymphoma (ALK+, LBCL) according to the morphological, immunohistochemical, molecular and clinical features, using which we intend to elucidate the clinicopathological characteristics of this rare entity. In this study, all cases de facto share common features that defined them as a single entity, and various characteristics may expand the spectrum. Among 15 cases, 60% followed an aggressive clinical course with advanced stage and high IPI scores; the median survival of these patients was only 8 months. An analysis showed that both the IPI score and the Ann Arbor stage were significant prognostic factors. Most patients received a chemotherapy regimen including CHOP, CHOEP, EPOCH, and CVAD, and some also underwent localized radiotherapy. However, ALK+, LBCL cases display a dismal clinical outcome and can only be cured with conventional chemotherapy protocols at the stage of localized disease. Novel front-line intensive chemotherapy regimens should therefore be evaluated in this group of patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / enzymology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / genetics
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Young Adult


  • ALK protein, human
  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases

Grants and funding

This study was supported by a grant from the Guide Project of Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (No. 134119a5000). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.