The p38 MAPK is constitutively activated in B-NHL cell lines and regulates chemoresistance. Accordingly, we hypothesized that activated p38 MAPK may be associated with the in vivo unresponsiveness to chemotherapy in B-NHL patients. Tissue microarrays generated from eighty untreated patients with Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) were examined by immunohistochemistry for the expression of p38 and phospho p38 (p-p38) MAPK. In addition, both Bcl-2 and NF-κB expressions were determined. Kaplan Meier analysis was assessed. Tumor tissues expressed p38 MAPK (82 %) and p-p38 MAPK (30 %). Both p38 and p-p38 MAPK expressions correlated with the high score performance status. A significant correlation was found between the expression p-p38 and poor response to CHOP. The five year median follow-up FFS was 81 % for p38(-) and 34 % for p38(+) and for OS was 83 % for p38(-) and 47 % for p38(+). The p-p38(+) tissues expressed Bcl-2 and 90 % of p-p38(-) where Bcl-2(-). The coexpression of p-p38 and Bcl-2 correlated with pool EFS and OS. There was no correlation between the expression of p-p38 and the expression of NF-κB. The findings revealed, for the first time, that a subset of patients with DLBCL and whose tumors expressed high p-p38 MAPK responded poorly to CHOP therapy and had poor EFS and OS. The expression of p38, p-p38, Bcl2 and the ABC subtype are significant risk factors both p38 and p-p38 expressions remain independent prognostic factors.