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Cancer. 1993 Jul 1;72(1):231-6.

bcl-2 rearrangements in de novo diffuse large cell lymphoma. Association with distinctive clinical features.

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Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.



The frequency and clinical significance of bcl-2 rearrangement in de novo B-cell diffuse large cell lymphoma is largely unknown.


Using Southern blot hybridization and multiple DNA probes, the status of the protooncogene bcl-2 was investigated in frozen tissue samples from 45 carefully selected cases of de novo diffuse large cell lymphoma of B-cell origin. Results were correlated with the presenting clinical and immunophenotypic features and with the subsequent clinical course.


Rearrangements of bcl-2 were identified in nine tumor specimens (20%). The bcl-2-positive cases more often presented as early-stage, nonmucosal associated extranodal tumors (P = 0.06) and were more often HLA-DR negative (P = 0.07). Five-year failure-free survival was poor among the bcl-2-positive cases (11% versus 48%). Overall survival was no different, however, because relapses in bcl-2-positive cases tended to be responsive to further therapy.


Analysis of bcl-2 rearrangements in de novo diffuse large cell lymphoma may identify a subset of patients with unusual clinical features.

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