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Dissecting the grey zone between follicular lymphoma and marginalzone lymphoma using morphological and genetic features

Krijgsman O, Gonzalez P, Balague Ponz O, et al.

Haematologica. 2013 Jul 12. [Epub ahead of print]



Nodal marginal zone lymphoma is a poorly defined entity in the World Health Organization classification, based largely on criteria of exclusion and the diagnosis often remains subjective. Follicular lymphoma lacking t(14;18) has similar characteristics which results in a major potential diagnostic overlap which this study aims to dissect. Four subgroups of lymphoma samples (n=56) were analyzed with high-resolution array comparative genome hybridization: nodal marginal zone lymphoma, t(14;18)-negative follicular lymphoma, localized t(14:18)-positive follicular lymphoma and disseminated t(14;18)-positive follicular lymphoma. Gains on chromosomes 7, 8 and 12 were observed in all subgroups. The mean number of aberrations was higher in disseminated t(14;18)-positive follicular lymphoma than in localized t(14:18)-positive follicular lymphoma (P<0.01) and the majority of alterations in localized t(14:18)-positive follicular lymphoma were also found in disseminated t(14;18)-positive follicular lymphoma. Nodal marginal zone lymphoma was marked by 3q gains with amplifications of four genes. A different overall pattern of aberrations was seen in t(14;18)-negative follicular lymphoma compared to t(14;18)-positive follicular lymphoma. t(14;18)-negative follicular lymphoma is characterized by specific (focal) gains on chromosome 3, as observed in nodal marginal zone lymphoma. Our results support the notion that localized t(14:18)-positive follicular lymphoma represents an early phase of disseminated t(14;18)-positive follicular lymphoma. t(14;18)-negative follicular lymphoma bears aberrations that are more like those in nodal marginal zone lymphoma, suggesting a relation between these groups.


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