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Am J Surg Pathol. 2003 Mar;27(3):356-64.

Primary and secondary cutaneous diffuse large B-cell lymphomas: a multiparameter analysis of 25 cases including fluorescence in situ hybridization for t(14;18) translocation.

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Department of Pathology, Division of Hematopathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Although primary cutaneous diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) except for those of the leg are grouped together with primary cutaneous follicle center cell lymphoma in the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer classification of primary cutaneous lymphomas, they typically lack the usual phenotypic profile of follicular lymphoma. Whether they are truly of follicular center cell origin, have a molecular pathogenesis similar to nodal follicular lymphoma, or have any biologic features that distinguish them from secondary DLBCL involving skin remains uncertain. To address these issues, a retrospective multiparameter study of 25 patients including clinical, histologic, immunophenotypic, and cytogenetic analyses was performed. A classic CD10+, bcl-6+ follicular center cell profile was found in 10 (40%) cutaneous DLBCL (2 of 11 primary, 5 of 8 secondary, 3 of 6 unclassified) with bcl-2 expression seen only in the nonprimary cases. Of the remaining cases, 14 cases (56%) were CD10-, bcl-6+, bcl-2+/- (9 primary) and one case (4%) was CD10-, bcl-6-, bcl-2+ (0 primary). Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed a t(14;18) in 0 of 9 primary and 3 of 5 secondary cases. Primary cases were frequently found in the head/neck region, whereas secondary cases were more common on the trunk and extremities. Patients with primary disease were all alive, usually having received only local therapy, at a median follow-up of 19 months. Most secondary cases were treated with chemotherapy with only one untreated patient dead of disease at a median follow-up of 5 months. Primary cutaneous DLBCLs therefore appear to be distinctive as they have fewer features of follicular lymphoma than do secondary cases. Nevertheless, some appear to be of follicular center cell origin, even though they probably have a different molecular pathogenesis than most nodal follicular lymphomas.

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