Targeting of inflammatory pathways with R2CHOP in high-risk DLBCL

Leukemia. 2021 Feb;35(2):522-533. doi: 10.1038/s41375-020-0766-4. Epub 2020 Mar 5.


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoma, and front line therapies have not improved overall outcomes since the advent of immunochemotherapy. By pairing DNA and gene expression data with clinical response data, we identified a high-risk subset of non-GCB DLBCL patients characterized by genomic alterations and expression signatures capable of sustaining an inflammatory environment. These mutational alterations (PIM1, SPEN, and MYD88 [L265P]) and expression signatures (NF-κB, IRF4, and JAK-STAT engagement) were associated with proliferative signaling, and were found to be enriched in patients treated with RCHOP that experienced unfavorable outcomes. However, patients with these high-risk mutations had more favorable outcomes when the immunomodulatory agent lenalidomide was added to RCHOP (R2CHOP). We are the first to report the genomic validation of a high-risk phenotype with a preferential response towards R2CHOP therapy in non-GCB DLBCL patients. These conclusions could be translated to a clinical setting to identify the ~38% of non-GCB patients that could be considered high-risk, and would benefit from alternative therapies to standard RCHOP based on personalized genomic data.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Lenalidomide / administration & dosage
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / immunology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rituximab / administration & dosage
  • Survival Rate
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Rituximab
  • Vincristine
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Lenalidomide
  • Prednisone