Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Leuk Lymphoma. 1998 Apr;29(3-4):249-56.

The t(2;5) in human lymphomas.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


A recurrent, reciprocal balanced translocation, t(2;5) (p23;q35), has been recognized in CD30+ anaplastic large-cell lymphomas (ALCL), a newly recognized subtype comprising approximately 5% of all non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). This translocation creates a novel fusion protein, NPM-ALK, which has transforming properties in vitro and can cause large-cell lymphoma in vivo when transfected into murine bone marrow. Multiple techniques including reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplification of NPM-ALK fusion transcripts, genomic DNA-PCR, RNA in situ hybridization, and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of metaphase chromosomes and interphase nuclei, and immunohistochemical detection of the 80 kilodalton protein (p80) derived from the NPM-ALK fusion have enabled surveys of normal and lymphoma tissues for evidence of the translocation. These studies suggest that expression of ALK protein, a novel orphan receptor tyrosine kinase, is normally confined to the nervous system. In lymphoma, NPM-ALK expression is most often seen in young patients with the monomorphic or small-cell variant of ALCL who present with advanced stage disease and have tumors with a CD30+, T- or null-cell phenotype. It is less frequently detected in older patients and in ALCL of pleomorphic histology. In addition, expression of NPM-ALK has been found in occasional CD30 negative B-cell lymphomas with diffuse large cell or immunoblastic histology. NPM-ALK is rarely, if ever, detected in Hodgkin's disease or secondary ALCL. Although initially found in primary nodal ALCL, recent studies suggest that NPM-ALK expression may occur in lymphoma at extranodal sites, including the skin; it remains controversial, however, whether CD30+ primary cutaneous lymphoma and its benign counterpart, lymphomatoid papulosis (LyP), express NPM-ALK in some cases. A retrospective study has suggested that expression of NPM-ALK is associated with a better overall 5-year survival; these results must be confirmed in prospective studies of patients with uniform staging and therapy to more fully understand the clinical significance of the t(2;5) and its novel chimeric protein, NPM-ALK.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Support Center