PLASMABLASTIC LYMPHOMA. A STATE-OF-THE-ART REVIEW (1) Part 1- Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinicopathologic characteristics, differential diagnosis, prognostic factors and special populations

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Michele Bibas


Agressive Lymphoma HIV People living with HIV Plasmablastic Lymphoma CD20-negative large B-cell Lymphoma CD38 CD138 Oral cavity lymphoma


The objective of this two-part study is to present current and comprehensive understanding on the diagnosis and management of plasmablastic lymphoma. The first section, as presented in this paper, is on the study of epidemiology, etiology, clinopathological characteristics, differential diagnosis, prognostic variables, and the impact of plasmablastic lymphoma on specific populations.

Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL), a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma. Previous and modern studies have demonstrated a significant association between the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the development of the disease. The limited occurrence of PBL contributes to a lack of comprehensive understanding regarding the molecular mechanisms involved in its etiology. Consequently, the diagnostic procedure for PBL poses a significant difficulty. Among the group of CD20-negative large B-cell lymphomas, PBL can be correctly diagnosed by identifying its exact clinical characteristics, anatomical location, and morphological characteristics. PBL cells do not express CD20 or PAX5 but possess plasmacytic differentiation markers such as CD38, CD138, MUM1/IRF4, Blimp1, and XBP1. PBL must be distinguished from other B-cell malignancies that lack the CD20 marker, including primary effusion lymphoma, anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive large B-cell lymphoma, and large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL). This condition is frequently associated with infections caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and genetic alterations involving the MYC gene. Despite advances in our comprehension of this disease, the prognosis remains dismal, resulting in a low overall survival rate, although recent reports suggest an apparent tendency towards substantial improvement.


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