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J Invest Dermatol. 2008 Apr;128(4):1030-8. Epub 2007 Nov 8.

TCRgamma-chain gene rearrangement by PCR-based GeneScan: diagnostic accuracy improvement and clonal heterogeneity analysis in multiple cutaneous T-cell lymphoma samples.

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  • 1Section of Dermatology, Department of Medical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.


Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas are a heterogeneous group of lymphomas where the tumor population emerges within a multiple subclone pattern ("clonal heterogeneity"). PCR analysis has been shown to be useful in the diagnosis of mycosis fungoides (MF) and S├ęzary Syndrome (SS). Focusing the attention on clonal heterogeneity, the efficacy of the multiplex/heteroduplex (HD) PCR and the GeneScan (GS) capillary electrophoresis analysis was compared in the early diagnosis of MF/SS, using a multiple sample approach. Indeed, GS demonstrated TCRgamma gene rearrangement (GR) in all the 57 SS (100%) and in 123/146 (84%) of the MF samples, whereas the multiplex/HD PCR was less sensitive. An increase in clonality was observed in connection with both a worsening of the cutaneous disease (79% T1/T2; 100% T3/T4) and an increase in the histopathological score (HS < 5, 76%; HS > or = 5, 94%). Clonal heterogeneity with adjunctive reproducible skin TCRgamma-GRs was also observed. "Clonal instability," with different GRs, was present in a small percentage of patients. Therefore, it can be concluded that GS analysis in TCRgamma-GR is able to improve diagnosis in MF/SS patients and the multiple sample approach is helpful for a correct interpretation of clonal patterns in skin lesions, especially in early-stage MF and in SS skin/blood samples.

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