Current treatment approaches for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Tim Illidge, Shaun Tolan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There have been two major developments over the last decade that has led to improvements in outcome and longer survival for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). These developments have been firstly to increase the dose of active cytotoxic drugs and shorten the time between cycles, resulting in dose-dense and/or dose-intense regimens and secondly the addition of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab to chemotherapy. Both strategies have been associated with higher response rates, lower relapse rates, longer event-free survival (EFS) and improved overall survival (OS), particularly in better prognostic groups. A combination of dose-dense and dose-intense chemotherapy regimens plus rituximab is currently being tested to confirm that the use of both approaches confers survival advantage. High-risk, poorer-prognosis DLBCL remains a challenge, and new treatment strategies are required for these patients. Improvements in outcome may potentially be achieved through a greater understanding of the genetic abnormalities specifically associated with poorer-prognosis disease, and factors that lead to unresponsiveness to chemotherapy. The role of radiotherapy is currently less clearly defined than at anytime in the management of DLBCL and the current evidence for using radiotherapy in this disease is therefore rigorously reviewed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)663-676
    Number of pages13
    JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


    • Chemotherapy
    • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
    • Radioimmunotherapy
    • Radiotherapy
    • Rituximab


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