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Leukemia. 2007 Jul;21(7):1532-44. Epub 2007 May 10.

A comprehensive genetic and histopathologic analysis identifies two subgroups of B-cell malignancies carrying a t(14;19)(q32;q13) or variant BCL3-translocation.

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Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein Campus Kiel, Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany.


The biologic and pathologic features of B-cell malignancies bearing a translocation t(14;19)(q32;q13) leading to a fusion of IGH and BCL3 are still poorly described. Herein we report the results of a comprehensive cytogenetic, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), molecular and histopathological survey of a large series of B-cell malignancies with t(14;19) or variant translocations. A total of 56 B-cell malignancies with a FISH-proven BCL3 involvement were identified with the translocation partners being IGH (n=51), IGL (n=2), IGK (n=2) and a non-IG locus (n=1). Hierarchical clustering of chromosomal changes associated with the t(14;19) indicated the presence of two different groups of IG/BCL3-positive lymphatic neoplasias. The first group included 26 B-cell malignancies of various histologic subtypes containing a relatively high number of chromosomal changes and mostly mutated IgVH genes. This cluster displayed three cytogenetic branches, one with rearrangements in 7q, another with deletions in 17p and a third one with rearrangements in 1q and deletions in 6q and 13q. The second group included 19 cases, mostly diagnosed as B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), and characterized by few additional chromosomal changes (e.g. trisomy 12) and unmutated IgVH genes. In conclusion, our study indicates that BCL3 translocations are not restricted to B-CLL but present in a heterogeneous group of B-cell malignancies.

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