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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2003 May;127(5):610-3.

Mature B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia with associated translocations (14;18)(q32;q21) and (8;9)(q24;p13). A Burkitt variant?

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  • 1Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Division of Hematopathology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7525, USA.


The translocation t(14;18)(q32;q21) is most commonly associated with follicular lymphoma but has also been described in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) of B-cell origin. Although these ALL cases have had a pre-pre-B, pre-B, or mature B-cell immunophenotype and L2 or L3 morphology, all have been associated with an abnormality of 8q24. In fact, 91% (10 of 11) have been associated with t(8;22) or t(8;14), marker chromosomes for Burkitt-type ALL. The other case was associated with del(8)(q24). Thus, Burkitt-type ALL may have various immunophenotypes and morphology when associated with t(14;18). We describe a case of mature B-cell ALL associated with t(14;18) and t(8;9)(q24;p13). The morphology was suggestive but not entirely characteristic of the L3 subtype. However, on the basis of the cytogenetic findings and the review of the literature, perhaps this case represents a variant of Burkitt-type ALL, which would be important to recognize for prognostic and therapeutic purposes. We describe our findings and review the literature to heighten awareness of this group of ALLs associated with t(14;18). Additional cases need to be accrued and documented to determine the significance of an associated abnormality of 8q24 in this setting.

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