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Blood. 2009 Jul 23;114(4):826-34. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-01-198580. Epub 2009 May 26.

Follicular lymphomas with and without translocation t(14;18) differ in gene expression profiles and genetic alterations.

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  • 1Institute of Pathology, University of Wuerzburg, Josef-Schneider-Strasse 2, Wuerzburg, Germany.


Follicular lymphoma (FL) is genetically characterized by the presence of the t(14;18)(q32;q21) chromosomal translocation in approximately 90% of cases. In contrast to FL carrying the t(14;18), their t(14;18)-negative counterparts are less well studied about their immunohistochemical, genetic, molecular, and clinical features. Within a previously published series of 184 FLs grades 1 to 3A with available gene expression data, we identified 17 FLs lacking the t(14;18). Comparative genomic hybridization and high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array profiling showed that gains/amplifications of the BCL2 gene locus in 18q were restricted to the t(14;18)-positive FL subgroup. A comparison of gene expression profiles showed an enrichment of germinal center B cell-associated signatures in t(14;18)-positive FL, whereas activated B cell-like, NFkappaB, proliferation, and bystander cell signatures were enriched in t(14;18)-negative FL. These findings were confirmed by immunohistochemistry in an independent validation series of 84 FLs, in which 32% of t(14;18)-negative FLs showed weak or absent CD10 expression and 91% an increased Ki67 proliferation rate. Although overall survival did not differ between FL with and without t(14;18), our findings suggest distinct molecular features of t(14;18)-negative FL.

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