Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is a hematologic cancer that has remained underdetected, primarily because of overlapping presentations and morphologically minute distinctions between other malignancies. Now, by including a triad of signature markers—CD123, CD4, and CD56—in all initial hematologic diagnostic panels, proper diagnosis is possible.1-3

BPDCN is an aggressive hematologic cancer and may present with features similar to AML, NHL, ALL, MDS, and CMML, as well as other malignancies with skin manifestations.2-5

CD123, as part of the signature marker triad in combination with CD4 and CD56, is a key marker in identifying BPDCN—and is a rapidly emerging target for therapeutic research in several hematologic cancers.3

Stemline Therapeutics, Inc. is committed to advancing therapeutic research to help patients with BPDCN.

AML = acute myeloid leukemia; NHL = non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; ALL = acute lymphoblastic leukemia; MDS = myelodysplastic syndrome;
CMML = chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
*BPDCN diagnosis can include other markers, such as CD4, CD56, TCL1, and CD303 (BDCA2).3
Left image republished with permission from Blood; right image reprinted by permission from Springer Nature: Modern Pathology, Neoplasms derived from plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Facchetti F, © 2016.


  1. Facchetti F, Cigognetti M, Fisogni S, Rossi G, Lonardi S, Vermi W. Neoplasms derived from plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Mod Pathol. 2016;29(2):98-111.
  2. Riaz W, Zhang L, Horna P, Sokol L. Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm: update on molecular biology, diagnosis, and therapy. Cancer Control. 2014;21(4):279-289.
  3. Pagano L, Valentini CG, Grammatico S, Pulsoni A. Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm: diagnostic criteria and therapeutical approaches. Br J Haematol. 2016;174(2):188-202.
  4. Laribi K, Denizon N, Besançon A, et al. Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm: from origin of the cell to targeted therapies. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016;22(8):1357-1367.
  5. León-Martínez G, Meillón-García L, Morales-Polanco M, Soler-Montecinos L, Ortiz-Hidalgo C. Unusual morphologic presentations of blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm: report of two cases misdiagnosed as melanoma and leprosy. Int J Surg Pathol. 2014;22(1):76-82.