Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: A clinicopathologic analysis of 444 cases classified according to the updated Kiel classification

J. Diebold, J. R. Anderson, J. O. Armitage, J. M. Connors, K. A. Maclennan, H. K. Müller-Hermelink, B. N. Nathwani, F. Ullrich, D. D. Weisenburger

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37 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was: to compare the survival of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) stratified according to the up-dated Kiel classification. A retrospective study of a cohort of 1378 cases was organized in 1996 by the Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Classification Project, and the DLBCL were classified according to the updated Kiel classification. The distribution of the different types and subtypes was as follows: centroblastic (CB, 85.4%), composed of the polymorphic (CB-PM, 58.6%), monomorphic (CB-MM, 17.1%) and multilobated (CB-ML, 9.7%) subtypes; immunoblastic (IB, 11.2%), with (8.3%) or without (2.9%) plasmacytoid differentiation; and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) of B-cell type (3.4%). The rate of diagnostic agreement between pathologists was 78% for CB and 65% for IB lymphoma. The 5-year overall survival (OAS) for the entire group was 47% and the 5-year failure-free survival (FFS) was 42%. No significant differences in survival were found between the three major groups (CB, IB, ALCL). However, the 5-year OAS and FFS of patients with DLBCL not containing immunoblasts (CB-MM+CB-ML) was 51 and 52%, respectively, and was significantly better than the survival of those containing immunoblasts (CB-PM+IB+ALCL), which was 44 and 38% (p = 0.06 and p = 0.037), respectively. These results did not appear to be due to differences in the clinical features of the two groups, and was most significant for patients with low stage or low risk disease. However, histologic subtyping was not an independent risk factor for the entire group by multivariate analysis. In conclusion, patients with CB-MM and CB-ML (without immunoblasts) had a significantly better OAS and FFS than those with CB-PM, IB and ALCL (with immunoblasts). Therefore, we conclude that additional studies are still needed to further evaluate the importance of immunoblastic differentiation in DLBCL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Anaplastic large B-cell lymphoma
  • Centroblastic lymphoma
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Immunoblastic lymphoma
  • Kiel classification
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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