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Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2002 Jan 15;132(2):125-32.

Cytogenetic characterization of diffuse large cell lymphoma using multi-color fluorescence in situ hybridization.

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  • 1Human Genetics Laboratories, Munroe Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 985440 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.


We have employed multi-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (M-FISH) to characterize the cytogenetic changes in 20 diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL), that contained complex and partially characterized karyotypes. The M-FISH analysis helped to delineate 94% of the unidentified abnormalities and assisted in redefining some unidentified/misidentified karyotypic changes. Recurrent breakpoints observed in approximately 20% cases included 14q32, 3p21, 3q27, 22q12, 1q25, and 18q21 (in decreasing order), and 1p22, 1q21, 4q31, 6q21, and 8q24 (in four cases each). Numerical gain of chromosomes 7, 9, 12, and X and loss of chromosomes 1, 4, 6, 17, and Y, were noted in approximately 20% of cases. The minimum deleted regions encompassed 6q21-q25, 1p22-p36, 1q32-q44, 2p23-p25, 4q31-q35, 13p13-q14, and 17p11-p13. Two cases presented with a sole structural abnormality, and one contained a der(17)t(9;17)(p21;p13), which has not been reported earlier as a sole abnormality in DLBCL. Upon completely characterizing the karyotypes, we observed with interesting that in 55% of the cases, more than one BCL gene bearing regions was involved in translocations. In the remaining 45%, where only one or none of the BCL gene regions was involved in a rearrangement, we observed the loss of chromosomes 6 and/or 17 or partial deletions of 6q and/or 17p or gain of 7 and/or 12. Our findings suggest that, although BCL2 and BCL6 are most often implicated in DLBCL, the possibility of the disruptions of BCL3, BCL8, BCL9, and BCL10 as a "primary event" in DLBCL cannot be ruled out. Most often, a combination of events may be necessary for the genesis of DLBCL or progression of follicular lymphoma to DLBCL. Overall, M-FISH has enhanced our ability to provide a comprehensive karyotypic analysis, and has helped in defining the importance of BCL3, BCL8, BCL9, and BCL10 carrying breakpoints in DLBCL.

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