Beyond RCHOP: A Blueprint for Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma Research.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 108, Issue 12 (2016)


Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) comprises multiple molecular and biological subtypes, resulting in a broad range of clinical outcomes. With standard chemoimmunotherapy, there remains an unacceptably high treatment failure rate in certain DLBCL subsets: activated B cell (ABC) DLBCL, double-hit lymphoma defined by the dual translocation of MYC and BCL2, dual protein-expressing lymphomas defined by the overexpression of MYC and BCL2, and older patients and those with central nervous system involvement. The main research challenges for DLBCL are to accurately identify molecular subsets and to determine if specific chemotherapy platforms and targeted agents offer differential benefit. The ultimate goal should be to maximize initial cure rates to improve long-term survival while minimizing toxicity. In particular, a frontline trial should focus on biologically defined risk groups not likely to be cured with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone plus rituximab (R-CHOP). An additional challenge is to develop effective and personalized strategies in the relapsed setting, for which there is no current standard other than autologous stem cell transplantation, which benefits a progressively smaller proportion of patients. Relapsed/refractory DLBCL is the ideal setting for testing novel agents and new biomarker tools and will require a national call for biopsies to optimize discovery in this setting. Accordingly, the development of tools with both prognostic and predictive utility and the individualized application of new therapies should be the main priorities. This report identifies clinical research priorities for critical areas of unmet need in this disease.