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Hematol Oncol. 1999 Dec;17(4):137-48.

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma: a clinicopathologic analysis.

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Department of Pathology, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada.


The clinicopathologic features of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) are reviewed. ALCL is a heterogeneous group of tumours, and histologic examination alone is not adequate in providing useful prognostic information. However, using a combination of clinical, phenotypic, and genotypic features, several distinct clinicopathologic entities have been identified. A subset of ALCL as presently defined is characterized by a balanced translocation, t(2;5)(p23;q35), resulting in a novel fusion protein (NPM-ALK) that can be readily detected by immunohistochemical methods using antibodies against the ALK protein. Detection of ALK protein, along with other methods for demonstrating the t(2;5), has assisted in identifying a distinct biologic entity within the heterogeneous group of ALCL with significant prognostic implications. It is important to separate these from cases of ALK-negative ALCL, which have a poorer prognosis, and cases of primary cutaneous ALCL, which have an excellent prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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