EBV-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the elderly: 2016 update on diagnosis, risk-stratification, and management.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the elderly is a provisional entity included in the 2008 WHO classification of lymphoid neoplasms. It is a disease typically seen in the elderly and thought to be associated with chronic EBV infection and severe immunosuppression with a component of immunosenescence. Recent research, however, has suggested that EBV-positive DLBCL can be seen in younger, immunocompetent patients. The diagnosis of EBV-positive DLBCL of the elderly is made through a careful pathological evaluation. The differential diagnosis includes infectious mononucleosis (specifically in younger patients), lymphomatoid granulomatosis, Hodgkin lymphoma, and gray zone lymphoma, among others. Detection of EBV-encoded RNA (EBER) is considered standard for diagnosis; however, a clear cutoff for positivity has not been defined. The International Prognostic Index (IPI), and the Oyama score can be used for risk-stratification. The Oyama score includes age >70 years and presence of B symptoms. The expression of CD30 is emerging as a potential adverse, and targetable, prognostic factor. Patients with EBV-positive DLBCL should be staged and managed following similar guidelines than patients with EBV-negative DLBCL. It has been suggested, however, that EBV-positive patients have a worse prognosis than EBV-negative counterparts in the era of chemoimmunotherapy. There is an opportunity to study and develop targeted therapy in the management of patients with EBV-positive DLBCL.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Castillo, JJ; Beltran, BE; Miranda, RN; Young, KH; Chavez, JC; Sotomayor, EM

Published Date

  • May 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 91 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 529 - 537

PubMed ID

  • 27093913

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-8652

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ajh.24370


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States