As shown with gene expression profiling (GEP), the development and progression of follicular lymphoma (FL) involves complex interactions between neoplastic B cells and the surrounding microenvironment. GEP further reveals that the tumor microenvironment may predict survival in patients with FL and influence the response to therapy and the risk of transformation. Here, we briefly review GEP technology and summarize the role of the tumor microenvironment in FL diagnosis, prognosis, and transformation. Genes expressed by infiltrating T cells and macrophages appear to be the most important predictors of survival, clinical behavior, and outcome. These findings provide a basis for future studies into the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of FL and may ultimately provide guidance in the choice of therapy and the identification of potential therapeutic targets.
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