Toward a New Molecular Taxonomy of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma

Cancer Discov. 2020 Sep;10(9):1267-1281. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-0174. Epub 2020 Jul 2.


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) represents a grouping of clinically and biologically heterogeneous tumors. Application of advanced molecular technology has significantly expanded our knowledge of DLBCL pathobiology, allowing identification of subgroups with common, potentially targetable, biological themes. Here, we review the recent molecular analyses that could provide a paradigm shift to a new taxonomy, foundational to the rational transition to precision medicine. We discuss how classification systems may be synthesized into a common taxonomy, drawing strength from the relationships between genetic alterations, gene expression, and tumor microenvironment. Finally, challenges to translating such a taxonomy to the clinic will be outlined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genetic Heterogeneity
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / genetics
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / therapy
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Mutation
  • Precision Medicine*
  • Tumor Microenvironment / genetics*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor