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J Clin Pathol. 2003 Oct;56(10):747-52.

Prognostic significance of CD44 expression in diffuse large B cell lymphoma of activated and germinal centre B cell-like types: a tissue microarray analysis of 90 cases.

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Institute of Pathology, University of Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.



Gene expression profiling of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) revealed three disease types: germinal centre B cell-like (GC), activated B cell-like (ABC), and a "third" type. Expression of CD44 variant isoforms (CD44v) is associated with an unfavourable clinical outcome in DLBCL, but previous studies did not consider the clinicopathological heterogeneity of this disease.


To analyse the expression and prognostic significance of CD44 in DLBCL types.


A tissue microarray (TMA) comprising 90 DLBCLs was constructed. CD10, CD20, bcl-2, bcl-6, CD44 standard isoform (CD44s), and CD44v4, CD44v6, and CD44v9 were analysed immunohistochemically and correlated with clinical follow up.


TMA expression of CD10, CD20, bcl-2, and bcl-6 showed 100% concordance with results from conventional sections in 60 cases. Samples were segregated into 22 GC (bcl-6+/CD10+/bcl-2-), 25 ABC (bcl-6-/CD10-/bcl-2+), and 35 unclassifiable DLBCLs. Overall survival (OS) at 30 months was 89%, 44%, and 58% in GC, ABC, and unclassified types, respectively. CD44v6 was coexpressed with bcl-2, appeared predominantly on bcl-6 negative cases, and correlated with disease stage. Cases negative for CD44s could be separated into CD44v6 negative (OS, 82% at 70 months) and CD44v6 positive (OS, 58%).


TMA technology is useful for immunophenotyping and clinicopathological analysis of large lymphoma populations. The GC phenotype of DLBCL is of independent prognostic significance for OS. Expression of CD44v6 correlates with disease stage, and might contribute to lymphoma dissemination. CD44v6 is expressed predominantly in ABC DLBCL, and in CD44 negative cases is associated with worse OS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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