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Unanswered Questions of Plasmablastic Lymphomas

Plasmablastic Lymphomas

Plasmablastic Lymphomas is an AIDS related lymphoma which till date continues to have a poor prognosis despite the significant advancements in the management of lymphoma diseases and HIV. The Plasmablastic lymphoma can be considered as a AIDS associated diffuse large B cells lymphoma. Those who are prescribed an immuno suppressive drug after an organ transplant so that host does not reject the donated organ and those suffering from HIV are at high risk.

The occurrence of PBL in HIV negative individuals is less. Patients usually die within two years of diagnosis of PBL. Plasmablastic lymphomas is usually composed of blastoid appearing cells with prominent nucleoli.

Important subtypes include:

  • Oral mucosa type of PBL- Found largely in the oral mucosa but also may occur in other extranodal or nodal sites.
  • PBL with Plasmacytic differentiation- Exhibits more differentiation to mature plasma cells in comparison to first case.
  • Extramedullary plasmablastic tumors- Composed of plasmablasts and associated with Castleman disease,which is typically nodal.

Symptoms Of Plasmablastic Lymphomas:

It is very difficult to diagnose from which type of Lymphomas a person is suffering from however, there are symptoms which are most common in case of PBL.

  • Swelling of the jaws and oral cavity.
  • Lack of appetite, may be due to difficulty in swallowing by the patient due to swelling of neck.
  • Nocturnal sweating when the patient is sleeping.
  • Fever which remains for a longer period of time than usual.

Causes of Plasmablastic Lymphomas:

The causes are unknown for plasmablastic Lymphomas and other large B cell Lymphomas till date. It is not infectious so it is not transmitted through human contact.



It is most important treatment for PBL. Patients are  prescribed medicines like doxorubicin vincristine and rituximab which restrain the growth of cancerous cells in the body.

Monoclonal antibody therapy uses drugs which recognize specific proteins on cancer cells and stimulates the defense system of the body to destroy them.

Stem Cell Transplantation:

There are a number of successful cases of curing PBL by Stem Cell Transplantation. Beside  this  Antiretroviral Therapy is given to the HIV patients.  However, the success rate of curing PBL is very low. Although effective it does not seem to effect survival.

There are many unanswered questions regarding Plasmablastic Lymphomas which require  extensive research so that its exact diagnosis is possible and also the causes are unknown, so we don’t know how to prevent the disease. The death rate of people suffering from PBL is very high, the scenario won’t change much till there is a extensive research of the disease.

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