Research Article: Molecular Profiling of Aggressive Lymphomas

Date Published: November 24, 2012

Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Author(s): Maura Rossi, Maria Antonella Laginestra, Anna Gazzola, Maria Rosaria Sapienza, Stefano A. Pileri, Pier Paolo Piccaluga.


In the last years, several studies of molecular profiling of aggressive lymphomas were performed. In particular, it was shown that DLBCL can be distinguished in two different entities according to GEP. Specifically, ABC and GCB subtypes were characterized by having different pathogenetic and clinical features. In addition, it was demonstrated that DLBCLs are distinct from BL. Indeed, the latter is a unique molecular entity. However, relevant pathological differences emerged among the clinical subtypes. More recently, microRNA profiling provided further information concerning BL-DLBCL distinction as well as for their subclassification. In this paper, the authors based on their own experience and the most updated literature review, the main concept on molecular profiling of aggressive lymphomas.

Partial Text

Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) are the commonest aggressive B-NHL worldwide and represent distinct entities in the World Health Organization (WHO) classification [1, 2].

Even with the use of current diagnostic criteria, the distinction between DLBCL and BL is not always precise; for this reason, in the last years, different molecular studies were performed to further characterize DLBCL and BL.

Recently, miRNAs have been identified as posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression and involved in physiological and pathological differentiation and maturation processes [55]. They represent a novel mechanism that allows cells to regulate many events such as control cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis, and morphogenesis [56]. Several studies have reported the involvement of miRNAs in cancer [57–59].

In the last years, several studies were performed to found some differentially expressed miRNAs between DLBCL subtypes.

In conclusion, recent GEP and miRNA profiling studies provided notable information on the molecular pathogenesis of BL and DLBCL. In addition, they provided the basis for a clear distinction of the 2 entities when morphology and phenotype are not conclusive. Finally, the recognition of specific molecular profiles was useful for a more refined subclassification of these lymphomas, with relevant prognostic implication. Certainly, to date, it is difficult to propose global GEP in the routine workup; however, new technologies, including next generation sequencing, will hopefully improve our ability in the molecular managing of lymphoma patients offering adequate surrogates for diagnosis and prognostication.

The authors have no conflict of interests to declare.




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