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Blood. 2006 Jan 1;107(1):190-6. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

A uniform activated B-cell-like immunophenotype might explain the poor prognosis of primary central nervous system lymphomas: analysis of 83 cases.

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  • 1Université Paris-Descartes, Faculté de médecine, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, AP-HP, Paris, France.


Most primary central nervous system lymphomas (PCNSLs) in immunocompetent patients are diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCLs), characterized by poor prognosis, compared with systemic forms. A germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) origin of PCNSL was hypothesized on the basis of BCL-6 expression and ongoing mutational activity. Our goal herein was to determine, for 83 PCNSLs, the percentages of GCB and activated B-cell-like (ABC) phenotypes and their prognostic significance. CD10, BCL-6, MUM1, BCL-2, and CD138 antigens were immunohistochemically labeled on paraffin-embedded sections; the first 4 were positive in 2.4%, 55.5%, 92.6%, and 55.5% of the tumors, respectively. None of the 56 tested samples expressed CD138. Among the 82 patients with complete information, 79 (96.3%) were classified as ABC; 42 (51.2%) expressed BCL-6+ MUM1+, suggesting an "activated GCB" origin; 33 (40.2%) were exclusively MUM1+, and the remaining 4 (4.9%) were negative for all markers tested. These findings provide new insights into interpreting the poor PCNSL prognostic, which may, in part, be due to biologic aggressiveness associated with its activated B-cell-like pattern. We postulate assigning PCNSL a histogenetic "time-slot," overlapping late GC and early post-GC, that could explain the predominant ABC phenotype observed.

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