Lymphoma & related disorders

Extranodal organ specific lymphoma

DLBCL-primary testicular

Last author update: 27 June 2022
Last staff update: 27 June 2022

Copyright: 2022,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Primary testicular diffuse large B cell lymphoma

Miguel Gonzalez-Mancera, M.D.
Sumire Kitahara, M.D.
Page views in 2022: 861
Page views in 2023 to date: 1,303
Cite this page: Gonzalez-Mancera M, Kitahara S. DLBCL-primary testicular. website. Accessed June 9th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Large B cell lymphoma that is confined to and presumably arises in testis
  • Recently classified under large B cell lymphomas (LBCL) of immune privileged sites in the most recent revision of the WHO, 5th edition; this is a new umbrella term that acknowledges common biological features of aggressive B cell lymphomas (Leukemia 2022 Jun 22 [Epub ahead of print])
    • This new entity now combines the previous entity of primary DLBCL of CNS with DLBCL of the vitreoretina and testis that were previously included among DLBCL, NOS
  • Recently considered a distinct entity by the International Consensus Classification of Mature Lymphoid Neoplasms, closely related to primary DLBCL of the central nervous system on the basis of common clinical and molecular features (Blood 2022 Jun 2 [Epub ahead of print])
Essential features
  • Comprises 80 - 90% of all primary testicular lymphomas with a mean age of presentation between 60 and 70 years of age
  • Composed of large atypical lymphoid cells with a predominant centroblastic morphology that replace the testicular parenchyma
  • Positive for pan B cell markers and typically positive for BCL6, MUM1 and BLC2
  • Primary DLBCL of testis
  • Primary testicular lymphoma
ICD coding
  • ICD-O: 9680/3 - malignant lymphoma, large B cell, diffuse, NOS
  • ICD-10: C83.3 - diffuse large B cell lymphoma
  • Typically presents in adult men with a median age between 60 and 70 at diagnosis
    • Most common testicular malignancy in men > 60 years of age
  • Most common testicular malignancy to present with bilateral involvement
  • Increased incidence in HIV positive men (Cancers (Basel) 2021;13:4049)
    • HIV positive patients with primary testicular diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL PT) are younger (median age of 36)
  • Most patients present with localized disease
  • Approximately 20% of patients have advanced stage with spread to contralateral testis, CNS or other extranodal sites (J Clin Oncol 2009;27:5227)
  • Evaluation of the cell of origin through IHC and gene expression profiling has demonstrated that DLBCL PT has a non-GCB phenotype in 60 - 96% of cases (Mod Pathol 2006;19:1521, J Pathol 2006;210:163)
  • Characterized by deregulation of intercellular immune signaling mechanisms, including NFkB pathway activation (Blood 2016;127:869)
    • Oncogenic toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling (via MYD88 activating mutations) and B cell receptor (BCR) signaling (via CD79b mutation) are central to the pathogenesis, leading to NFkB pathway activation
    • Prosurvival signals through mutations in PIM1/2, CARD11 and TNFAIP3 further contribute to the dysregulation in NFkB signaling
  • Mutations within genes mediating immune surveillance are also central to DLBCL PT pathogenesis
    • Losses of the HLA class I and II loci are associated with reduced expression of major histocompatibility complexes (MHC)
    • Gains and amplifications of the programmed death ligand (PDL) 1 (CD274) and 2 (CD273) loci, that increase protein expression and contribute to the evasion of an antitumor immune response
  • Unknown in immunocompetent patients
Diagrams / tables

Images hosted on other servers:

Dysregulated NFkB signaling pathway

Clinical features
  • Firm, painless testicular mass without preference for either side (Blood 2014;123:486)
    • Median tumor size at presentation is 6 cm
  • Systemic symptoms are infrequent, seen in approximately 25 - 40% of cases
    • Fever, anorexia, night sweats, weight loss
  • Most patients present with localized disease and about 20% present with advanced stage disease, including spread to contralateral testis, CNS or other extranodal sites
  • Imaging modalities that may assist in diagnosis include:
    • Ultrasonography
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Biopsy of the involved testis or orchiectomy
  • Secondary testicular involvement by systemic lymphoma should be excluded
  • Reference: Ann Oncol 2016;27:v91
  • Increased serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), increased serum B2 microglobulin and hypoalbuminemia have been associated with an adverse prognosis (J Clin Oncol 2003;21:20)
Radiology description
  • Ultrasonography will show focal or diffuse areas of hypoechogenicity with hypervascularity in affected testis
  • MRI allows simultaneous evaluation of both testes, paratesticular spaces and spermatic cord
Radiology images

Images hosted on other servers:

CT pelvis and FDG PET

Prognostic factors
  • High relapse rate; recurrence most often occurs in the CNS or the contralateral testis (Br J Haematol 2017;176:210)
  • Involvement / recurrence in the CNS is associated with a dismal prognosis; relapse in the CNS has been reported in up to 30% of the cases within 1 - 2 years from diagnosis
  • Adverse prognostic factors for progression free survival include age > 70 years, advanced stage, B symptoms, involvement of extranodal sites other than testis and tumor diameter > 10 cm (J Clin Oncol 2009;27:5227, J Clin Oncol 2003;21:20, Leuk Lymphoma 2010;51:1217)
Case reports
Gross description
  • Enlarged testicle with a fleshy, diffuse or lobulated firm mass
  • Cut surface is relatively homogeneous and bulging, with a tan-yellow color
  • Often demonstrates a sharp demarcation from testicular parenchyma
  • Reference: Medicine (Baltimore) 2020;99:e19463
Gross images

Contributed by Miguel Gonzalez-Mancera, M.D.

Well demarcated testicular mass

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Diffuse sheets of large lymphoma cells (Pathology 2020;52:53)
    • Initially infiltrate between seminiferous tubules before total replacement of the parenchyma
    • Lymphoma cells frequently invade and fill the seminiferous tubules
    • Frequent mitotic figures can be seen (Hematol Oncol 2014;32:72)
    • Necrosis is common
  • Lymphoma cells show centroblastic morphology in most cases (90%) and less commonly, immunoblastic morphology (10%)
  • Associated changes in the testis include spermatogenic arrest, interstitial fibrosis and tubular hyalinization
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Miguel Gonzalez-Mancera, M.D.

Diffuse infiltration

High mitotic activity

Centroblastic morphology

Immunoblastic morphology

Lymphoma infiltrating testicular parenchyma





Positive stains
Negative stains
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • IGH rearrangements in virtually all cases
  • BCL2 and MYC rearrangements occur in 10% and 15% of cases, respectively; BCL6 rearrangement occurs in 40% (Leuk Lymphoma 2014;55:1410)
  • Genetic analysis (Onco Targets Ther 2019;12:10165, Leukemia 2014;28:719):
    • MYD88: amplifications, mutations and deletions (60 - 82%)
    • CD79B: mutations and deletions (19 - 34%)
    • NFKBIZ: copy number gain (42%)
    • CDKN2A: copy number alterations (71%)
    • CD274: rearrangements, copy number alterations, an increased protein expression (35%)
    • CD273: rearrangements, copy number alterations, an increased protein expression (47%)
Sample pathology report
  • Right testis, orchiectomy:
    • Diffuse large B cell lymphoma, nongerminal center type (see comment)
    • Comment: In the proper clinical circumstances, findings are consistent with primary diffuse large B cell lymphoma of the testis. Clinical correlation is required to exclude systemic or extratesticular primary disease.
Differential diagnosis
Board review style question #1

A man presents with right testicular mass and undergoes orchiectomy. Microscopic findings reveal a diffuse process of large lymphoid cells replacing the testicular parenchyma (see image). In which age group is this entity most commonly seen?

  1. < 15 years
  2. 30 - 40 years
  3. 60 - 70 years
  4. Typically seen at any age
Board review style answer #1
C. 60 - 70 years. Diffuse large B cell lymphoma of the testis has a mean age of presentation of 60 - 70 years.

Comment Here

Reference: DLBCL-primary testicular
Board review style question #2
Which of the following stains would be expected to be negative in diffuse large B cell lymphoma of the testis?

  1. BCL2
  2. CD20
  4. MUM1
Board review style answer #2
C. EBER ISH. EBV infection has not been associated with diffuse large B cell lymphoma of the testis.

Comment Here

Reference: DLBCL-primary testicular
Back to top
Image 01 Image 02