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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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
Pages (from-to)13933-13945
Number of pages13
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • EBV
  • Elderly
  • Gene expression profiling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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