Age cutoff for epstein-barr virus-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma - is it necessary?

Chi Young Ok, Qing Ye, Ling Li, Ganiraju C. Manyam, Lijuan Deng, Rashmi R. Goswami, Xiaoxiao Wang, Santiago Montes-Moreno, Carlo Visco, Alexandar Tzankov, Karen Dybkaer, Li Zhang, Jeremy Abramson, Aliyah R. Sohani, April Chiu, Attilio Orazi, Youli Zu, Govind Bhagat, Kristy L. Richards, Eric D. HsiWilliam W.L. Choi, J. Han van Krieken, Jooryung Huh, Maurilio Ponzoni, Andrés J.M. Ferreri, Shanxiang Zhang, Ben M. Parsons, Mina Xu, Michael B. Møller, Jane N. Winter, Miguel A. Piris, Zijun Y. Xu-Monette, L. Jeffrey Medeiros, Ken H. Young*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Epstein-Barr virus-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the elderly (EBV+ DLBCL-e) is a molecularly distinct variant of DLBCL, characterized by a monoclonal B-cell proliferation that occurs in patients >50 years of age without a history or clinicopathologic evidence of immunodeficiency. However, patients with EBV+ DLBCL younger than 50-years-old also exist in Western countries. We evaluated the clinicopathologic, immunophenotypic and genetic features in Cacausian patients with EBV+ DLBCL who are ≤50 years of age and compared this patient group to patients who are >50 years. In patients who are ≤50 years, less frequent expression of BCL6 and a trend of more frequent expression of CD30 and pSTAT3 were found in patients with EBV+ DLBCL. In patients who are >50 years, common expression of CD30, p50, pSTAT3 and less frequent expression of BCL6 were observed. Older patients also more commonly had a poor performance status (ECOG≥2). Comparing EBV+ DLBCL patients in ≤50 years versus >50 years, both groups had similar clinicopathologic, immunophenotypic and genetic features. Gene expression profiling, microRNA profiling and treatment outcome of the younger patients with EBV+ DLBCL was not distinctive from tumors in older patients. Based on our data, we suggest that the arbitrary age cutoff for EBV+ DLBCL is unnecessary and should be eliminated in the WHO lymphoma classification scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13935-13946
Number of pages12
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • EBV
  • Elderly
  • Gene expression profiling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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