The Emerging Role of Minimal Residual Disease Testing in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

  • Rachel Hu
  • Allison Winter
  • Brian T. HillEmail author
Lymphomas (MR Smith, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Lymphomas


Purpose of Review

Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is characterized by clinical heterogeneity that is not fully accounted for by pathologic features. Furthermore, real-time treatment modifications and detection of relapse are typically guided by radiographic imaging modalities which are imperfect. Here, we review the potential utility of minimal residual disease (MRD) assessment for informing treatment decisions and detecting relapse.

Recent Findings

The most promising method of MRD detection is based on analysis of circulating tumor DNA in the peripheral blood of patients with DLBCL. This approach can predict outcomes and response to treatment as well as detect relapse prior to clinical signs of recurrent disease. While some studies of MRD in DLBCL have been in the prospective setting, the ability of this technology to alter clinical outcomes is currently unknown.


MRD detection provides a non-invasive way to gather information about DLBCL at various time points throughout the disease course. Its role is evolving and should be incorporated into prospective studies in order to demonstrate an impact on patient outcomes.


Diffuse large B cell lymphoma Circulating tumor DNA Minimal residual disease Immunoglobulin next-generation sequencing Next generation sequencing 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Taussig Cancer InstituteCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA

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