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Hum Pathol. 2009 May;40(5):645-52. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2008.06.032. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

BCL2, BCL6, MYC, MALT 1, and BCL10 rearrangements in nodal diffuse large B-cell lymphomas: a multicenter evaluation of a new set of fluorescent in situ hybridization probes and correlation with clinical outcome.

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Department of Human Morphology, Unit of Pathology, University of Insubria-Ospedale di Circolo, Varese, Italy.


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Although it is a curable disease, fewer than half of patients are cured with conventional chemotherapy. The highly variable outcome reflects a heterogeneous group of tumors, with different genetic abnormalities and responses to therapy. We analyzed 74 cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma using interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization with commercially available probes for split-signal targeting BCL-2, BCL-6, MYC, BCL-10, and MALT-1. Gene rearrangements were identified in 48 (65%) of 74 cases. BCL-6 was the most rearranged gene (45%), followed by BCL-2 (21%), BCL-10 (18%), and MYC (16%). No MALT-1 rearrangements were found. When diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cases were subdivided into germinal-center B-cell-like and activated B-cell-like groups, an inverse pattern of BCL-2 and BCL-6 rearrangements was observed. Of interest, the presence of chromosome rearrangements was associated with a worse prognosis. The pattern of cytogenetic abnormalities highlighted the fact not only that diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is a heterogeneous entity but also that even individual cases may contain subclones bearing different chromosomal rearrangements. The relevance and the clinical implication of minor clones showing gene rearrangements are poorly understood; however, this first observation suggests that different rearrangements may be involved in the progression of the disease. The fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis with the panel used in this study is useful to detect the heterogeneity of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas and identify alterations with prognostic implications.

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