Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm: State of the art and prospects

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Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is an extremely rare tumour, which usually a_ects elderly males and presents in the skin with frequent involvement of the bone-marrow, peripheral blood and lymph nodes. It has a dismal prognosis, with most patients dying within one year when treated by conventional chemotherapies. The diagnosis is challenging, since neoplastic cells can resemble lymphoblasts or small immunoblasts, and require the use of a large panel of antibodies, including those against CD4, CD56, CD123, CD303, TCL1, and TCF4. The morphologic and in part phenotypic ambiguity explains the uncertainties as to the histogenesis of the neoplasm that led to the use of various denominations. Recently, a series of molecular studies based on karyotyping, gene expression profiling, and next generation sequencing, have largely unveiled the pathobiology of the tumour and proposed the potentially beneficial use of new drugs. The latter include SL-401, anti-CD123 immunotherapies, venetoclax, BET-inhibitors, and demethylating agents. The epidemiologic, clinical, diagnostic, molecular, and therapeutic features of BPDCN are thoroughly revised in order to contribute to an up-to-date approach to this tumour that has remained an orphan disease for too long.

Original languageEnglish
Article number595
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm
  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinics
  • Gene expression profile
  • Morphology
  • Mutational landscape
  • Phenotype
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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