High-Grade B-Cell Lymphoma

What is Lymphoma?

High-Grade B-Cell Lymphoma

High-grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBCL, previously known as double-hit lymphoma) is an aggressive type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) characterized by rearrangements (parts of genes switch places within chromosomes) in two particular genes. One rearrangement involves the MYC gene, and the other involves the BCL2 gene or, less commonly, the BCL6 gene.

With respect to gene mutations, HGBCL shares many features with two other types of B-cell lymphomas—diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma. In fact, about five percent of DLBCLs and about 32 to 78 percent of Burkitt lymphomas have rearrangements of the MYC and BCL2/BCL6 genes and are thus called HGBCL. However, research has shown that HGBCL differs in several important ways from the forms of DLBCL and Burkitt lymphoma that do not have dual gene rearrangements. For this reason, in 2016 the World Health Organization designated HGBCL as its own category of B-cell NHL.

Molecular tests allow doctors to check for gene rearrangements in chromosomes under a microscope are used to confirm a diagnosis of HGBCL.

To learn more about High Grade B-Cell lymphoma (previously known as Double Hit lymphoma), download the High Grade B-Cell Lymphoma Fact Sheet.

The Lymphoma Research Foundation welcomes the Double Hit Lymphoma Foundation (DHLF) supporters. LRF is committed to continuing the important work of providing educational opportunities and resources to those impacted by double hit lymphoma.