Treatment strategies for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Cancer Treat Rev. 2022 Nov:110:102443. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2022.102443. Epub 2022 Jul 31.


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is nowadays a curable disease with the frontline treatment R-CHOP, but 30-40% of patients are still unresponsive or relapse thereafter. In the recent era several upcoming new options are improving the therapeutic landscape for relapsed/refractory (R/R) DLBCL setting, first of all anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) that already represent a standard of care as third-line therapy and are rapidly moving as second-line treatment for those who are refractory or early relapse after R-CHOP. Among these new therapies, the combinations polatuzumab plus rituximab and bendamustine, tafasitamab plus lenalidomide for transplant ineligible patients, and CD3xCD20 bispecific antibodies are the most relevant, but several other agents and strategies are on the way. On the other hand, in the last 20 years, several efforts have been spent in the attempt to ameliorate the outcome over R-CHOP for the frontline treatment of DLBCL shortening the interval between the cycles or intensifying treatment or adding novel drugs to R-CHOP without success, so far. Recent studies combining the anti-CD79b antibody-drug conjugate polatuzumab vedotin plus R-CHP and the anti-BCL2 agent venetoclax plus R-CHOP showed promising results. Preliminary data of new upcoming strategies characterized by a tailored therapy based on different molecular subtypes of DLBCL are encouraging, showing a benefit over the standard R-CHOP. In this manuscript, the literature data on the landscape of new therapies available and upcoming for both frontline and R/R settings of DLBCL will be critically reviewed.

Keywords: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Immunotherapy; Novel drugs; R-CHOP; Target therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bispecific* / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Bendamustine Hydrochloride / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunoconjugates* / therapeutic use
  • Lenalidomide / therapeutic use
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen*
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use
  • Vincristine


  • Antibodies, Bispecific
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen
  • Rituximab
  • Vincristine
  • Bendamustine Hydrochloride
  • Lenalidomide