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Cancer. 1999 Apr 1;85(7):1626-35.

Primary follicular lymphoma of the testis in childhood.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, USA.



Follicular lymphoma in childhood is rare. The authors present four unusual primary follicular lymphomas of the testis in children.


Tumor tissue was evaluated using light microscopy, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) and bcl-2 gene rearrangements. Southern blot and immunohistochemical analyses were used to detect bcl-6 gene rearrangements and protein expression, respectively.


Four young boys ranging in age from 3 to 10 years were diagnosed with Stage IE follicular large cell lymphoma (Grade 3). A B-cell phenotype was documented in all four cases; monoclonality was confirmed in three cases by demonstration of light chain restriction or clonal IgH gene rearrangement. None of the lymphomas expressed Bcl-2 or p53 protein, and bcl-2 gene rearrangements were not found in the three lymphomas studied. In contrast, Bcl-6 protein was expressed by all three lymphomas studied, and a bcl-6 gene rearrangement was detected in the one case analyzed by Southern blot. All four boys were treated by orchiectomy and combination chemotherapy and are alive with no evidence of disease 18-44 months following their initial diagnoses.


Follicular lymphomas may rarely occur as primary testicular tumors in prepubertal boys and, when localized, appear to be associated with a favorable prognosis. In contrast to follicular lymphoma in adults, pediatric follicular lymphomas of the testis are usually of large cell type (Grade 3) and lack bcl-2 or p53 abnormalities. The identification, in one case, of a bcl-6 gene rearrangement suggests an alternate molecular pathogenesis for pediatric follicular lymphoma.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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