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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 May; 76(5): 2442–2446.
PMCID: PMC383618

Lymphoma development in mice and humans: diversity of initiation is followed by convergent cytogenetic evolution.


Human B cell lymphoma and murine T cell leukemia can be initiated by several agents. The present paper formulates some thoughts on the role of cytogenetic changes in the subsequent neoplastic process. Initiation creates long-lived preneoplastic cells. In some respects, they are comparable to in vitro-transformed ("immortalized") cell lines that maintain a diploid karyotype and are not tumorigenic in vivo. The development of a tumorigenic ("autonomous") clone is dependent on additional changes at the genetic level. In human B and murine T cell lymphoma, there are characteristic nonrandom chromosomal changes. The 14q+ marker appears to play a key role in human B cell lymphomas. The reciprocal 8;14 translocation in Burkitt lymphoma is a specialized subclass within this category. In murine T cell leukemia, trisomy 15 is the predominant change. The clustering of these nonrandom changes to tumors derived from a certain cell type rather than to tumors induced by a given etiological agent has important implications for the understanding of the genetic control of cellular responsiveness to growth-regulating forces in vivo.

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