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1.  Clinicopathological study of gene rearrangement and microRNA expression of primary central nervous system diffuse large B-cell lymphomas 
We studied the clinicopathological and imaging characteristics of primary central nervous system diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (PCNS-DLBCL). Imaging, pathologic histology, and immunohistochemical staining characteristics were analyzed, and the immunoglobulin heavy and light chain gene rearrangement of 25 PCNS-DLBCL cases was examined. MicroRNA was extracted from 10 cases each of PCNS-DLBCL, extracerebral germinal center DLBCL (GC-DLBCL), and extracerebral non-GC-DLBCL (NGC-DLBCL); we conducted chip hybridization and comparatively analyzed the difference among the three. PCNS-DLBCLs typically involved no less than two cerebral lobes (10/25); the frontal lobe was affected most often (6/25). Target-shaped structures were observed in all PCNS-DLBCLs due to the proliferation of centroblast-like large lymphocytes surrounding the vessels. There was strong and diffuse immunostaining for CD20 and CD79a, and negative immunostaining for CD3, CD5, CD23, and cyclin D1 for all PCNS-DLBCLs. The percentage of cells with nuclear positivity for anti-Ki67 antibody ranged 50-90% (mean, 80%). Three, 19, and 22 PCNS-DLBCLs were CD10-, Bcl-6-, and melanoma ubiquitous mutated 1-positive, respectively. Twenty-four PCNS-DLBCLs were B-cell monoclonal. MicroRNA hybridization showed that 788 PCNS-DLBCL microRNAs/segments increased to at least twice that of NGC-DLBCLs, and 401 PCNS-DLBCL microRNAs/segments declined to less than half of that of NGC-DLBCLs. Six hundred and eleven PCNS-DLBCL microRNAs/segments increased to at least twice that of GC-DLBCLs, and 229 PCNS-DLBCL microRNAs/segments declined to less than half of that in GC-DLBCLs. PCNS-DLBCL typically affected multiple sites, tended to occur in older men, arose from activated B cells, had high B-cell monoclonality; its microRNA expression differed from that of NGC-DLBCL and GC-DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC3796226  PMID: 24133582
Central nervous system; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; gene rearrangement; microRNA
2.  A Case of B-cell Lymphoma, Unclassifiable, with Features Intermediate between Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma and Burkitt Lymphoma in a Korean Child 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2012;32(2):162-166.
B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma (BL) (intermediate DLBCL/BL), is a heterogeneous group with some features resembling DLBCL and others resembling BL. Here, we report a case of intermediate DLBCL/BL in a Korean child. A 2-yr-old male was admitted for evaluation and management of left hip pain. Immunohistochemistry of a biopsy of the femur neck revealed tumor cells positive for CD20, CD10, BCL2, BCL6, and Ki67. A bone marrow (BM) aspirate smear revealed that 49.3% of all nucleated cells were abnormal lymphoid cells, composed of large- and medium-sized cells. Immunophenotyping of the neoplastic cells revealed positivity for CD19, CD10, CD20, and sIg lambda and negativity for CD34, Tdt, and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Cytogenetic and FISH analyses showed a complex karyotype, including t(8;14)(q24.1;q32) and IGH-MYC fusion. Intensive chemotherapy was initiated, including prednisone, vincristine, L-asparaginase, daunorubicin, and central nervous system prophylaxis with intrathecal methotrexate (MTX) and cytarabine. One month after the initial diagnosis, BM examination revealed the persistent of abnormal lymphoid cells; cerebrospinal fluid cytology, including cytospin, showed atypical lymphoid cells. The patient was treated again with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, adriamycin, MTX, and intrathecal MTX and cytarabine. The patient died of sepsis 5 months after the second round of chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3289783  PMID: 22389885
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Burkitt lymphoma; Gray zone lymphoma
3.  Molecular characteristics of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in human immunodeficiency virus-infected and -uninfected patients in the pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy and pre-rituximab era 
Leukemia & lymphoma  2013;55(3):551-557.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection substantially elevates diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) risk, but its impact on the distinct DLBCL subtypes defined by cell of origin is unclear. We compared DLBCL molecular characteristics and prognosis in 51 HIV-infected and 116 HIV-uninfected cases diagnosed during 1977-2003. Using immunohistochemistry to classify cell of origin based on the Tally algorithm, activated B-cell (ABC)-DLBCL was substantially more common in HIV-infected (83%) than in HIV-uninfected (54%) cases (p< 0.001). Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was detected in 63% of DLBCLs in HIV-infected cases, occurring almost exclusively in ABC-DLBCL (74% vs. 13% of germinal center B-cell [GCB]-DLBCL, p=0.002), but was rarely detected in DLBCLs among HIV-uninfected cases (3%). Among HIV-uninfected cases, MYC/IgH[t(8;14)(q24;q32)] and IgH/BCL2[t(14;18)(q32;q21)] translocations were significantly more common and BCL6/IgH[t(3;14)(q27;q32)] significantly less common in GCB-DLBCL than in ABC-DLBCL (p= 0.010, < 0.001 and = 0.039, respectively). Among HIV-infected cases, translocations other than MYC/IgH[t(8;14)(q24;q32)] (21%) were rare (≤6%) and unrelated to cell of origin. ABC-DLBCL was associated with adverse overall survival compared with GCB-DLBCL regardless of HIV status (pHIV-infected= 0.066;pHIV-uninfected= 0.038). Our data demonstrate key differences in the molecular characteristics, cell of origin and prognosis of DLBCL by HIV status in the pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and pre-rituximab era, supporting biologic differences in lymphomagenesis in the presence of HIV.
PMCID: PMC3936016  PMID: 23772639
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Epstein-Barr virus; activated B-cell; germinal center B-cell
4.  Clinical outcome of Epstein–Barr virus-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the elderly in the rituximab era 
Cancer Science  2014;105(9):1170-1175.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common subtype of malignant lymphoma. The incidence of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-positive DLBCL in Asian and Latin American countries ranges from 8 to 10%. The prognosis of patients with EBV-positive DLBCL is controversial. To compare the clinical outcome of EBV-positive and EBV-negative patients with DLBCL in the rituximab era, we analyzed 239 patients with de novo DLBCL diagnosed between January 2007 and December 2011. The presence of EBV in lymphoma cells was detected using EBV-encoded RNA in situ hybridization, and it was found that 18 (6.9%) of 260 patients with diagnosed DLBCL tested positive. Among the 260 cases, 216 cases were treated with rituximab plus chemotherapy, as were 8 EBV-positive DLBCL patients. The median overall survival and progression-free survival times in patients with EBV-positive DLBCL were 8.7 months and 6.8 months, respectively. The median overall survival and progression-free survival could not be determined in EBV-negative DLBCL patients (P = 0.0002, P < 0.0001, respectively). The outcome of patients with EBV-positive DLBCL remains poor, even in the rituximab era.
PMCID: PMC4462402  PMID: 24974976
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Epstein–Barr virus (EBV); prognosis
5.  Gene expression profiling of Epstein–Barr virus-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the elderly reveals alterations of characteristic oncogenetic pathways 
Cancer Science  2014;105(5):537-544.
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the elderly (EBV[+]DLBCL-E) is classified as a subtype of DLBCL. Until now, its molecular pathogenesis has remained unknown. To identify pathways characteristic of EBV(+)DLBCL-E, gene expression profiling of five EBV(+)DLBCL-E and seven EBV-negative DLBCL (EBV[−]DLBCL) cases was undertaken using human oligonucleotide microarray analysis. Gene set enrichment analysis and gene ontology analysis showed that gene sets of the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathways were enriched in EBV(+)DLBCL-E cases. To confirm the results of the expression profiles, in vitro analysis was performed. Expression profiling analysis showed that high activation of the JAK-STAT and NF-κB pathways was induced by EBV infection into DLBCL cell lines. Activation of the NF-κB pathway was confirmed in EBV-infected cell lines using an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Western blot analysis revealed an increased protein expression level of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in an EBV-infected cell line. Protein expression of phosphorylated STAT3 was frequently observed in lymphoma cells of EBV(+)DLBCL-E clinical samples using immunohistochemistry (EBV[+]DLBCL-E: 80.0% [n = 20/25] versus EBV[−]DLBCL: 38.9% [n = 14/36]; P = 0.001). The results of the present study suggest that activation of the JAK-STAT and NF-κB pathways was characteristic of EBV(+)DLBCL-E, which may reflect the nature of EBV-positive tumor cells. Targeting these pathways as therapies might improve clinical outcomes of EBV(+)DLBCL-E.
PMCID: PMC4317839  PMID: 24581222
Epstein–Barr virus; gene expression profiling; lymphoma; NF-κB; STAT3
6.  B-cell Lymphomas with Concurrent IGH-BCL2 and MYC Rearrangements Are Aggressive Neoplasms with Clinical and Pathologic Features Distinct from Burkitt Lymphoma and Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma 
B-cell lymphomas with concurrent IGH-BCL2 and MYC rearrangements, also known as “double-hit” lymphomas (DHL), are rare neoplasms characterized by highly aggressive clinical behavior, complex karyotypes, and a spectrum of pathological features overlapping with Burkitt lymphoma (BL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and B-lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia (B-LBL). The clinical and pathological spectrum of this rare entity, including comparison to other high-grade B-cell neoplasms, has not been well defined. We conducted a retrospective analysis of clinical and pathologic features of 20 cases of DHL seen at our institution during a 5-year period. In addition, we performed case-control comparisons of DHL with BL and International Prognostic Index (IPI)-matched DLBCL. The 11 men and 9 women had a median age of 63.5 years (range 32-91). Six patients had a history of grade 1-2 follicular lymphoma (FL); review of the prior biopsy specimens in 2 of 5 cases revealed blastoid morphology. Eighteen patients had Ann Arbor stage 3 or 4 disease and all had elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels at presentation. Extranodal disease was present in 17/20 (85%), bone marrow involvement in 10/17 (59%) and central nervous system (CNS) disease in 5/11 (45%). Nineteen patients were treated with combination chemotherapy, of whom 18 received rituximab and 14 received CNS-directed therapy. Fourteen patients (70%) died within 8 months of diagnosis. Median overall survival in the DHL group (4.5 months) was inferior to both BL (p=0.002) and IPI-matched DLBCL (p=0.04) control patients. Twelve DHL cases (60%) were classified as B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between DLBCL and BL, 7 cases (35%) as DLBCL, not otherwise specified, and 1 case as B-LBL. Distinguishing features from BL included expression of Bcl2 (p<0.0001), Mum1/IRF4 (p=0.006), Ki-67 <95% (p<0.0001), and absence of EBV-EBER (p=0.006). DHL commonly contained the t(8;22) rather than the t(8;14) seen in most BL controls (p=0.001), and exhibited a higher number of chromosomal aberrations (p=0.0009). DHL is a high-grade B-cell neoplasm with a poor prognosis, resistance to multi-agent chemotherapy, and clinical and pathological features distinct from other high-grade B-cell neoplasms. Familiarity with the morphologic and immunophenotypic spectrum of DHL is important in directing testing to detect concurrent IGH-BCL2 and MYC rearrangements when a karyotype is unavailable. The aggressive clinical behavior and combination of genetic abnormalities seen in these cases may warrant categorization as a separate entity in future classifications and call for novel therapeutic approaches.
PMCID: PMC3152212  PMID: 20118770
MYC; BCL2; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Burkitt lymphoma; cytogenetics; high-grade B-cell lymphoma
7.  Diffuse large B cell lymphoma derived from nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma presents with variable histopathology 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:332.
Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) usually presents in middle aged men and shows an indolent clinical behavior. However, up to 30% of the patients present a secondary transformation into aggressive diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The aim of the present study was to characterize morphology and immunophenotype of this kind of DLBCL in detail and compare it with conventional DLBCL.
Morphology and immunophenotype of 33 cases of NLPHL with simultaneous or sequential transformation into DLBCL were investigated. These cases were compared with 41 de novo DLBCL in Finnish men.
The majority of cases exhibited different immunophenotypes in the NLPHL and the DLBCL components. The immunophenotype of the DLBCL secondary to NLPHL was heterogeneous. However, BCL6, EMA, CD75 and J-chain were usually expressed in both components (≥73% positive). Overall, the NLPHL component was more frequently positive for EMA, CD75 and J-chain than the DLBCL component. In contrast, B cell markers, CD10 and BCL2, were more frequently expressed and were expressed at higher levels in the DLBCL component than in the NLPHL component. In the independent series of de novo DLBCL 4 cases could be identified with a growth pattern and immunophenotype that suggested that they had arisen secondarily from NLPHL.
The morphology and immunophenotype of DLBCL arisen from NLPHL is heterogeneous. Further characterization of the particular molecular features of this subgroup is warranted to be able to better identify these cases among conventional DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC4030276  PMID: 24885870
Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma; Diffuse large B cell lymphoma; Transformation
British journal of haematology  2013;161(1):43-56.
Interactions between the Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor PCI-32765 and the proteasome inhibitor (bortezomib) were examined in diffuse large-B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) cells, including those highly resistant to bortezomib. Co-administration of PCI-32765/bortezomib synergistically increased mitochondrial injury and apoptosis in germinal centre- or activated B-cell-like-DLBCL cells and in MCL cells. These events were accompanied by marked AKT and nuclear factor (NF)-κB (NFKB1) inactivation, down-regulation of Mcl-1 (MCL1), Bcl-xL (BCL2L1), and XIAP, and enhanced DNA damage (e.g., γH2A.X formation) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Similar interactions were observed in highly bortezomib-resistant DLBCL and MCL cells, and in primary DLBCL cells. In contrast, PCI-32765/bortezomib regimens displayed minimal toxicity toward normal CD34+ bone marrow cells. Transfection of DLBCL cells with a constitutively active AKT construct attenuated AKT inactivation and significantly diminished cell death, whereas expression of an NF-κB “super-repressor” (IκBαser34/36) increased both PCI-32765 and bortezomib lethality. Moreover, cells in which the ER stress response was disabled by a dominant-negative eIF2α construct were resistant to this regimen. Finally, combined exposure to PCI-32765 and bortezomib resulted in more pronounced and sustained reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and ROS scavengers significantly diminished lethality. Given promising early clinical results for PCI-32765 in DLBCL and MCL, a strategy combining BTK/ proteasome inhibitor warrants attention in these malignancies.
PMCID: PMC3739300  PMID: 23360303
PCI32765; bortezomib; BTK; DLBCL; mantle cell lymphoma
9.  Prevalence and clinicopathologic features of CD30-positive de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in Chinese patients: a retrospective study of 232 cases 
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a heterogeneous disease that great efforts had been made in to build up molecular and immunophenotypic subgroups that could relatively accurate indicate prognosis and give clue to therapy. Recently, CD30 was reported as a useful predictor with favorable clinical outcome. However, CD30 expression patterns and the clinicopathologic features of CD30 positive DLBCL are not well described thus far, especially in Asian patients. Here, we studied 232 cases of de novo DLBCL in East China to investigate the prevalence and clinicopathological features of CD30-positive DLBCL using a panel of immunohistochemical markers. Applying a >0% threshold, CD30 was expressed in approximately 12% patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) negative DLBCL, affecting younger people and showing a lower frequency of BCL2 expression and MYC/BCL2 co-expression. Patients with CD30-positive DLBCLs showed better progression-free survival and overall survival compared with patients with CD30-negative DLBCLs, although the superior outcome of CD30 positivity had minimal effects on BCL2+ DLBCL or DLBCL with MYC/BCL2 co-expression. Moreover, CD30 could express in CD5+ DLBCL. We concluded that CD30 may be useful as a prognostic marker in rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) treated DLBCLs, indicating favorable outcomes in a Chinese population. Further studies with larger samples should be performed to investigate the function of CD30 expression in BCL2+ DLBCLs, DLBCLs with MYC/BCL2 co-expression, and CD5+ DLBCLs, and to evaluate the feasibility of anti-CD30 targeted treatment in DLBCL therapy.
PMCID: PMC4730066  PMID: 26884853
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; CD30; MYC/BCL2 co-expression lymphoma; CD5+ DLBCL
10.  CD20-negative de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in HIV-negative patients: A matched case-control analysis in a single institution 
HIV-negative, CD20-negative de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients has rarely been reported. To elucidate the nature of this entity, we retrospectively reviewed the data of 1,456 consecutive de novo DLBCL patients who were treated at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center between January 1999 and March 2011.
The pathologic characteristics of CD20-negative patients, clinical features, response to initial treatment, and outcomes of 28 patients with available clinical data (n = 21) were reviewed. Then, a matched case-control (1:3) analysis was performed to compare patients with CD20-negative and -positive DLBCL.
The median age of the 28 CD20-negative DLBCL patients was 48 years, with a male-female ratio of 20:8. Seventeen of 22 (77.3%) CD20-negative DLBCL cases were of the non-germinal centre B-cell (non-GCB) subtype. High Ki67 expression (≥80%), an index of cell proliferation, was demonstrated in 17 of 24 (70.8%) cases. Extranodal involvement (≥ 1 site) was observed in 76.2% of the patients. Following initial therapy, 9 of 21 (42.9%) cases achieved complete remission, 4 (19%) achieved partial remission, 1 (4.8%) had stable disease, and 7 (33.3%) had disease progression. The median overall survival was 23 months. The 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 30.5% and 35%, respectively. A matched case-control analysis showed that patients with CD20-negative and -positive DLBCL did not exhibit a statistically significant difference with respect to the main clinical characteristics (except extranodal involvement), whereas the patients with CD20-positive DLBCL had a better survival outcome with 3-year PFS (P = 0.008) and OS (P = 0.008) rates of 52% and 74.1%, respectively.
This study suggests that HIV-negative, CD20-negative de novo DLBCL patients have a higher proportion of non-GCB subtype, a higher proliferation index, more frequent extranodal involvement, a poorer response, and a poorer prognosis to conventional treatment compared to patients with CD20-positive DLBCL. Further studies are warranted to investigate new target and optimal therapy of CD20-negative de novo DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC3418184  PMID: 22554077
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; CD20-negative; Clinicopathologic features; HIV-negative
11.  Distinctive patterns of BCL6 molecular alterations and their functional consequences in different subgroups of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma 
Gene expression profiling of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has revealed biologically and prognostically distinct subgroups: germinal center B-cell-like (GCB), activated B-cell-like (ABC) and primary mediastinal (PM) DLBCL. The BCL6 gene is often translocated and/or mutated in DLBCL. Therefore, we examined the BCL6 molecular alterations in these DLBCL subgroups, and their impact on BCL6 expression and BCL6 target gene repression. BCL6 translocations at the major breakpoint region (MBR) were detected in 25 (18.8%) of 133 DLBCL cases, with a higher frequency in the PM (33%) and ABC (24%) subgroups than in the GCB (10%) subgroup. Translocations at the alternative breakpoint region (ABR) were detected in five (6.4%) of 78 DLBCL cases, with three cases in ABC and one case each in the GCB and the unclassifiable subgroups. The translocated cases involved IgH and non-IgH partners in about equal frequency and were not associated with different levels of BCL6 mRNA and protein expression. BCL6 mutations were detected in 61% of DLBCL cases, with a significantly higher frequency in the GCB and PM subgroups (> 70%) than in the ABC subgroup (44%). Exon-1 mutations were mostly observed in the GCB subgroup. The repression of known BCL6 target genes correlated with the level of BCL6 mRNA and protein expression in GCB and ABC subgroups but not with BCL6 translocation and intronic mutations. No clear inverse correlation between BCL6 expression and p53 expression was observed. Patients with higher BCL6 mRNA or protein expression had a significantly better overall survival. The biological role of BCL6 in translocated cases where repression of known target genes is not demonstrated is intriguing and warrants further investigation.
PMCID: PMC2366166  PMID: 17625604
BCL6; mutation; translocation; protein expression; gene expression profiling; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
12.  Prognostic significance of peripheral monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells and monocytes in patients newly diagnosed with diffuse large b-cell lymphoma 
Objective: The revised International Prognostic Index (R-IPI) aids in predicting the prognosis of patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), but R-IPI yields no significant differences in assessing different subtypes of DLBCL. It is necessary to identify patients with a high-risk of DLBCL and alternative therapy should be delivered as early as possible. Methods: In total, 144 patients newly diagnosed with DLBCL including 63 GCB-DLBCL and 81 non-GCB-DLBCL and 30 healthy controls were enrolled. Peripheral monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (M-MDSC) (CD14+HLA-DRlow/-) were detected by flow cytometry and the percentage of monocytes (MΦ) was evaluated by completed blood count (CBC). The correlation between M-MDSC% and MΦ% was statistically analyzed. Results: Compared with healthy controls, significant increase was observed in M-MDSC% and MΦ% in DLBCL patients (both P<0.001). Significant difference of M-MDSC% was found between GCB-DLBCL and non-GCB-DLBCL patients in both poor (P<0.001) and very good groups (P=0.03), whereas no statistical significance in the good group (P>0.05). The MΦ% in non-GCB-DLBCL patients was significantly higher than that in GCB-DLBCL counterparts merely in the poor group (P<0.001). Positive correlation was noted between MΦ% and M-MDSC in all DLBCL patients rather than in healthy controls (r=0.227 P=0.229). Conclusion: The percentage of peripheral MΦ was positively correlated with M-MDSC% in patients with different subtypes and risks of DLBCL. Peripheral MΦ% and M-MDSC% combined with R-IPI score may be useful for predicting the prognosis of patients newly-diagnosed with DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC4658890  PMID: 26629001
Monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cell; monocyte; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; revised international prognostic index
13.  Clinical characteristics and prognostic factors of bone lymphomas: focus on the clinical significance of multifocal bone involvement by primary bone large B-cell lymphomas 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:900.
Malignant bone lymphoma can be classified as primary (PBL) or secondary (SBL) bone lymphoma. However, the clinico-pathological characteristics and prognostic factors of PBL versus SBL have not yet been well defined. Whether lymphoma with multifocal bone involvement should be considered as stage IV PBL or SBL still remain controversial throughout the literature.
In this study, we retrospectively reviewed 127 patients with bone lymphoma diagnosed from1998 to 2013 at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Patients were classified as PBL (81 cases) and SBL (46 cases) using the 2013 WHO Classification of Bone/Soft Tissue Tumors and PBL patients were further subdivided into: 1) PBL with unifocal bone disease (uPBL, 46 cases), 2) PBL with multifocal bone involvement (mPBL, 35 cases). Patient characteristics, survival, and prognostic factors were analyzed.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) was the most common histological subtype in all three groups (37/46 of uPBL, 23/35 of mPBL, 23/46 of SBL). B symptoms, lymph node involvement, and bone marrow involvement were found to be more common in mPB-DLBCL and SB-DLBCL groups than in the uPB-DLBCL group. Femur was found to be the most common affected site in uPB-DLBCL patients, while spine was most commonly involved in the other two groups. Survival analysis indicated that uPBL-DLBCL patients had a significantly better progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) than those in the other two groups (P < 0.05). We also found by univariate analysis that multifocality, and stage IV were significantly poor prognostic factors for both PFS and OS in PBL patients. Using multivariate analysis, multifocality remained an independent prognostic factor for both PFS and OS (P = 0.0117, RR: 3.789, 95% CI: 1.275-11.256).
Overall, our results suggest that mPBL is more similar to SBL in characteristics and survival rather than uPBL, and thus should be better classified and treated as SBL.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-900) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4265495  PMID: 25465716
Primary bone lymphoma (PBL); Secondary bone lymphoma (SBL); Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL); Clinico-pathological characteristics; Prognostic factors; Multifocal bone involvement/multifocality
14.  Primary CNS lymphoma other than DLBCL: a descriptive analysis of clinical features and treatment outcomes 
Annals of Hematology  2011;90(12):1391-1398.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) constitutes most primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma (PCNSL), whereas T-cell, low-grade and Burkitt’s lymphomas (BL) are rarely encountered. Due to the paucity of cases, little is known about the clinical features and treatment outcomes of PCNSL other than DLBCL. The objective of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes for patients with PCNSL other than DLBCL. Fifteen patients, newly diagnosed with PCNSLs other than DLBCL between 2000 and 2010, were included. The male to female ratio was 0.67:1 with a median age of diagnosis of 31 years (range 18–59). Pathologic distributions were as follows: peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL; n = 7), marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (MZBCL; n = 1), lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL; n = 2), Burkitt’s lymphoma (n = 1), other unspecified (T-cell lineage, n = 2; B-cell lineage, n = 2). Thirteen patients (87%) showed Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance score (ECOG PS) 1–2. The remaining two were one PTCL patient and one Burkitt’s lymphoma patient. Of the nine patients with T-cell lymphoma, five (56%) had multifocal lesions, and one (20%) with LPL of the five patients with B-cell lymphoma showed a single lesion. Leptomeningeal lymphomatosis was identified in two patients (one with Burkitt’s lymphoma and one with unspecified B-cell lymphoma). Two patients (22%) with T-cell lymphoma died 7.7 and 23.3 months later, respectively, due to disease progression, despite HD-MTX-based therapy. Six patients with T-cell lymphoma (6/9, 66.7%) and four patients with low-grade B-cell lymphoma (4/5, 80%) achieved complete response and have survived without relapse (Table 3). One patient with Burkitt’s lymphoma showed poor clinical features with ECOG PS 3, deep structure, multifocal, and leptomeningeal lymphomatosis, and died 7.6 months after the initiation of treatment. In comparison with previously reported DLBCLs (median OS 6.4 years, 95% CI 3.7–9.1 years), T-cell lymphoma showed equivocal or favorable clinical outcomes and low-grade B-cell lymphomas, such as MZBCL and LPL, had a good prognosis. However, primary CNS Burkitt’s lymphoma presented poor clinical outcomes and showed a comparatively aggressive clinical course. In conclusion, primary CNS lymphoma other than DLBCL occurred more in younger patients and showed a generally good prognosis, except for Burkitt’s lymphoma. Further research on treatment strategies for Burkitt’s lymphoma is needed.
PMCID: PMC3210363  PMID: 21479535
Primary CNS lymphoma; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
15.  Epstein-Barr virus-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the elderly expresses EBNA3A with conserved CD8+ T-cell epitopes 
Post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) arise in the immunosuppressed and are frequently Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) associated. The most common PTLD histological sub-type is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (EBV+DLBCL-PTLD). Restoration of EBV-specific T-cell immunity can induce EBV+DLBCL-PTLD regression. The most frequent B-cell lymphoma in the immunocompetent is also DLBCL. ‘EBV-positive DLBCL of the elderly’ (EBV+DLBCL) is a rare but well-recognized DLBCL entity that occurs in the overtly immunocompetent, that has an adverse outcome relative to EBV-negative DLBCL. Unlike PTLD (which is classified as viral latency III), literature suggests EBV+DLBCL is typically latency II, i.e. expression is limited to the immuno-subdominant EBNA1, LMP1 and LMP2 EBV-proteins. If correct, this would be a major impediment for T-cell immunotherapeutic strategies. Unexpectedly we observed EBV+DLBCL-PTLD and EBV+DLBCL both shared features consistent with type III EBV-latency, including expression of the immuno-dominant EBNA3A protein. Extensive analysis showed frequent polymorphisms in EB-NA1 and LMP1 functionally defined CD8+ T-cell epitope encoding regions, whereas EBNA3A polymorphisms were very rare making this an attractive immunotherapy target. As with EBV+DLBCL-PTLD, the antigen presenting machinery within lymphomatous nodes was intact. EBV+DLBCL express EBNA3A suggesting it is amenable to immunotherapeutic strategies.
PMCID: PMC3301425  PMID: 22432076
Epstein-Barr virus; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; EBNA3A; T-cell; epitope; immunotherapy; posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorder
16.  B Cell Lymphoma, Unclassifiable, Transformed from Follicular Lymphoma: A Rare Presentation with Review of the Literature 
Case Reports in Hematology  2015;2015:651764.
B cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features of diffuse large B cell lymphoma and classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (BCLu-DLBCL/CHL) is more commonly known as gray zone lymphoma. These cases more often present with mediastinal disease. In this report, we present a very rare case of BCLu-DLBCL/CHL without mediastinal involvement, transformed from follicular lymphoma (FL) to BCLu-DLBCL/CHL. This patient initially presented with a mass in the right neck; biopsy of the lymph node showed predominantly nodular, follicular pattern. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of tumor cells expressed positivity for mature B cell markers CD20, CD19, CD10, CD23, CD45, and CD38 but negative for CD5,11c. Hence, diagnosed with FL, he was given rituximab, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone (RCVP) regimen, followed by maintenance rituximab. He showed good response. After 2 years, he presented again with a mass in the right side of the neck. Although the needle core biopsy of this mass was suggestive of B cell lymphoma, excisional biopsy showed morphological features of DLBCL as well as foci of histological pattern of CHL. IHC staining expressed positivity for CD20, CD79a, PAX5, and CD15 and CD30 consistent with DLBCL and CHL. He was diagnosed with BCLu-DLBCL/CHL. The patient received “ACVBP” (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vindesine, bleomycin, and prednisone) followed by radiation. BCLu-DLBCL/CHL is clinically an aggressive tumor with poorer outcomes, but our case showed complete response to ACVBP regimen with tumor regression.
PMCID: PMC4563079  PMID: 26380128
17.  The prognosis of MYC translocation positive diffuse large B‐cell lymphoma depends on the second hit 
A proportion of MYC translocation positive diffuse large B‐cell lymphomas (DLBCL) harbour a BCL2 and/or BCL6 translocation, known as double‐hit DLBCL, and are clinically aggressive. It is unknown whether there are other genetic abnormalities that cooperate with MYC translocation and form double‐hit DLBCL, and whether there is a difference in clinical outcome between the double‐hit DLBCL and those with an isolated MYC translocation. We investigated TP53 gene mutations along with BCL2 and BCL6 translocations in a total of 234 cases of DLBCL, including 81 with MYC translocation. TP53 mutations were investigated by PCR and sequencing, while BCL2 and BCL6 translocation was studied by interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization. The majority of MYC translocation positive DLBCLs (60/81 = 74%) had at least one additional genetic hit. In MYC translocation positive DLBCL treated by R‐CHOP (n = 67), TP53 mutation and BCL2, but not BCL6 translocation had an adverse effect on patient overall survival. In comparison with DLBCL with an isolated MYC translocation, cases with MYC/TP53 double‐hits had the worst overall survival, followed by those with MYC/BCL2 double‐hits. In MYC translocation negative DLBCL treated by R‐CHOP (n = 101), TP53 mutation, BCL2 and BCL6 translocation had no impact on patient survival. The prognosis of MYC translocation positive DLBCL critically depends on the second hit, with TP53 mutations and BCL2 translocation contributing to an adverse prognosis. It is pivotal to investigate both TP53 mutations and BCL2 translocations in MYC translocation positive DLBCL, and to distinguish double‐hit DLBCLs from those with an isolated MYC translocation.
PMCID: PMC4915334  PMID: 27347428
DLBCL; chromosome translocation; TP53 mutation; double‐hit; overall survival
18.  The prognosis of MYC translocation positive diffuse large B‐cell lymphoma depends on the second hit 
A proportion of MYC translocation positive diffuse large B‐cell lymphomas (DLBCL) harbour a BCL2 and/or BCL6 translocation, known as double‐hit DLBCL, and are clinically aggressive. It is unknown whether there are other genetic abnormalities that cooperate with MYC translocation and form double‐hit DLBCL, and whether there is a difference in clinical outcome between the double‐hit DLBCL and those with an isolated MYC translocation. We investigated TP53 gene mutations along with BCL2 and BCL6 translocations in a total of 234 cases of DLBCL, including 81 with MYC translocation. TP53 mutations were investigated by PCR and sequencing, while BCL2 and BCL6 translocation was studied by interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization. The majority of MYC translocation positive DLBCLs (60/81 = 74%) had at least one additional genetic hit. In MYC translocation positive DLBCL treated by R‐CHOP (n = 67), TP53 mutation and BCL2, but not BCL6 translocation had an adverse effect on patient overall survival. In comparison with DLBCL with an isolated MYC translocation, cases with MYC/TP53 double‐hits had the worst overall survival, followed by those with MYC/BCL2 double‐hits. In MYC translocation negative DLBCL treated by R‐CHOP (n = 101), TP53 mutation, BCL2 and BCL6 translocation had no impact on patient survival. The prognosis of MYC translocation positive DLBCL critically depends on the second hit, with TP53 mutations and BCL2 translocation contributing to an adverse prognosis. It is pivotal to investigate both TP53 mutations and BCL2 translocations in MYC translocation positive DLBCL, and to distinguish double‐hit DLBCLs from those with an isolated MYC translocation.
PMCID: PMC4915334  PMID: 27347428
DLBCL; chromosome translocation; TP53 mutation; double‐hit; overall survival
19.  The Histological and Biological Spectrum of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma in the WHO Classification 
Cancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.)  2012;18(5):411-420.
Diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCL) are aggressive B-cell lymphomas that are clinically, pathologically and genetically diverse, in part reflecting the functional diversity of the B-cell system. The focus in recent years has been towards incorporation of clinical features, morphology, immunohistochemistry and ever evolving genetic data into the classification scheme. The 2008 WHO classification reflects this complexity with the addition of several new entities and variants. The discovery of distinct subtypes by gene expression profiling (GEP) heralded a new era with a focus on pathways of transformation as well as a promise of more targeted therapies, directed at specific pathways. Some DLBCLs exhibit unique clinical characteristics with a predilection for specific anatomic sites; the anatomic site often reflects underlying biological distinctions. Recently, the spectrum of EBV-driven B-cell proliferations in patients without iatrogenic or congenital immunosuppression has been better characterized; most of these occur in patients of advanced age, and include EBV-positive large B-cell lymphoma of the elderly. HHV-8 is involved in the pathogenesis of primary effusion lymphoma, which can present as a “solid variant.” Two borderline categories were created; one deals with tumors at the interface between classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) and DLBCL. The second confronts the interface between Burkitt Lymphoma (BL) and DLBCL, so called “B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma” in the 2008 classification. Most cases harbor both MYC and BCL2 translocations, and are highly aggressive. Another interesting entity is ALK+ DLBCL, which renders itself potentially targetable by ALK inhibitors. Ongoing investigations at the genomic level, with both exome and whole genome sequencing, are sure to reveal new pathways of transformation in the future.
PMCID: PMC3458515  PMID: 23006945
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; plasmablastic lymphoma; Burkitt lymphoma; double hit lymphoma; grey zone lymphoma; Hodgkin’s lymphoma; cutaneous lymphoma; central nervous system; immunophenotyping
20.  Prognostic significance of CD44 expression in diffuse large B cell lymphoma of activated and germinal centre B cell-like types: a tissue microarray analysis of 90 cases 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2003;56(10):747-752.
Background: Gene expression profiling of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) revealed three disease types: germinal centre B cell-like (GC), activated B cell-like (ABC), and a “third” type. Expression of CD44 variant isoforms (CD44v) is associated with an unfavourable clinical outcome in DLBCL, but previous studies did not consider the clinicopathological heterogeneity of this disease.
Aims: To analyse the expression and prognostic significance of CD44 in DLBCL types.
Methods: A tissue microarray (TMA) comprising 90 DLBCLs was constructed. CD10, CD20, bcl-2, bcl-6, CD44 standard isoform (CD44s), and CD44v4, CD44v6, and CD44v9 were analysed immunohistochemically and correlated with clinical follow up.
Results: TMA expression of CD10, CD20, bcl-2, and bcl-6 showed 100% concordance with results from conventional sections in 60 cases. Samples were segregated into 22 GC (bcl-6+/CD10+/bcl-2−), 25 ABC (bcl-6−/CD10−/bcl-2+), and 35 unclassifiable DLBCLs. Overall survival (OS) at 30 months was 89%, 44%, and 58% in GC, ABC, and unclassified types, respectively. CD44v6 was coexpressed with bcl-2, appeared predominantly on bcl-6 negative cases, and correlated with disease stage. Cases negative for CD44s could be separated into CD44v6 negative (OS, 82% at 70 months) and CD44v6 positive (OS, 58%).
Conclusions: TMA technology is useful for immunophenotyping and clinicopathological analysis of large lymphoma populations. The GC phenotype of DLBCL is of independent prognostic significance for OS. Expression of CD44v6 correlates with disease stage, and might contribute to lymphoma dissemination. CD44v6 is expressed predominantly in ABC DLBCL, and in CD44 negative cases is associated with worse OS.
PMCID: PMC1770073  PMID: 14514777
diffuse large B cell lymphoma; CD44; prognosis; tissue microarray
21.  CD4-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: A variant with aggressive clinical potential 
World Journal of Methodology  2016;6(3):181-186.
CD4 expression is rare in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), with 4 previously reported cases. Its significance is uncertain. We report five patients with CD4+ DLBCL and one CD4+ primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma. Cases were identified by searching the electronic database of the department; each was reviewed. Average age was 56 years. Neoplastic cells expressed CD20 (5/6 tested cases). BCL2/BCL6 expression were seen in 3/3 tested cases, suggesting a germinal center origin. Additionally, expression of T-cell antigens CD2 and CD5 was noted in 2/2 and CD7 in 1/1 tested case. CD3 was negative in all. Lymph nodes were commonly involved (67%). Patients received chemotherapy +/- radiation (6/6) and bone marrow transplant (2/6). Average survival was 44.2 mo. CD4 expression in DLBCL raises questions of lineage commitment. CD4+ DLBCL is rare; care should be exercised not to diagnose these as T-cell lymphomas. A subset behaves aggressively.
PMCID: PMC5031925  PMID: 27679780
CD4+; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; T-cell lymphoma; Lineage infidelity
22.  Epstein-Barr Virus-Positive Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma in the Elderly: A Matched Case-Control Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133973.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in the elderly has rarely been reported. This study aimed to explore the clinical characteristics and prognosis of this entity.
In situ hybridization (ISH) analysis of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and immunohistochemistry was performed in 230 tumor specimens from consecutive de novo DLBCL patients over 50 years old. A matched-case control analysis (1:3) was utilized to compare EBV-positive and EBV-negative DLBCL in the elderly.
A total of 16 patients (7.0%) were diagnosed with EBV-positive DLBCL. Of these 16 cases, the median age was 62 years, with a male to female ratio of 11:5. Elderly EBV-positive DLBCL patients had a higher incidence of non-germinal center B-cell (non-GCB) subtypes (87.5%) and high Ki67 (75%) and CD30 expression (93.8%). For EBV-positive patients undergoing initial chemotherapy, 7 of 16 (43.8%) had complete remission, 2 (12.5%) had partial remission, 2 (12.5%) had stable disease, and 5 (31.3%) had progressive disease. The median overall survival was 9 months for the EBV-positive patients. A matched-case control analysis suggested that EBV-positive patients had inferior survival outcomes compared with EBV-negative patients (3-year progression-free survival [PFS]: 25% vs. 76.7%, respectively; 3-year overall survival [OS]: 25% vs. 77.4%, respectively; P<0.001).
EBV-positive DLBCL of the elderly is associated with an inferior clinical course and inferior survival outcomes. The role of EBV in this disease and the optimal management of this subgroup warrants further investigation.
PMCID: PMC4519250  PMID: 26222726
23.  Gene profiling of canine B-cell lymphoma reveals germinal center and post-germinal center subtypes with different survival times, modeling human DLBCL 
Cancer research  2013;73(16):5029-5039.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoma subtype, and fewer than half of patients are cured with standard front-line therapy. To improve therapeutic options, better animal models that accurately mimic human DLBCL (hDLBCL) are needed. Canine DLBCL (cDLBCL), one of the most common cancers in veterinary oncology, is morphologically similar to hDLBCL and is treated using similar chemotherapeutic protocols. With genomic technologies, it is now possible to molecularly evaluate dogs as a potential large-animal model for hDLBCL. We evaluated canine B-cell lymphomas (cBCLs) using immunohistochemistry and gene expression profiling. Canine B-cell lymphoma expression profiles were similar in many ways to hDLBCLs. For instance, a subset had increased expression of NF-κB pathway genes, mirroring human activated B-cell (ABC)-type DLBCL. Furthermore, immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) ongoing mutation status, which is correlated with ABC/germinal center B-cell (GCB) cell of origin in hDLBCL, separated cBCL into two groups with statistically different progression-free and overall survival times. In contrast with hDLBCL, cBCL rarely expressed BCL6 and MUM1/IRF4 by immunohistochemistry. Collectively, these studies identify molecular similarities to hDLBCL that introduce pet dogs as a representative model of hDLBCL for future studies, including therapeutic clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC3755352  PMID: 23783577
24.  Primary platelet-derived growth factor-producing, spindle-shaped diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the skull: a case report and literature review 
A 39-year-old woman with a right frontal mass underwent a cranial bone tumor biopsy. Histopathologic examination of hematoxylin and eosin–stained slides showed spindle-shaped tumor cells in a storiform pattern, appearing somewhat like a sarcoma. However, the tumor cells were CD20-positive by immunohistochemical staining. Therefore, a diagnosis of spindle-shaped diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (Sp-DLBCL) was made. There have been at least 35 cases of Sp-DLBCL documented in the literature, and most were of the germinal center type, while the present case is the first report of a vimentin-positive primary Sp-DLBCL of the skull. The DLBCL in this case was immunohistochemically stained for six representative cytokines that might give rise to fibrosis, due to the evidence of fibroblastic proliferation. The DLBCL cells were positive for platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and some cells were also positive for tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α. Based on these findings, it was inferred that the PDGF and TNFα produced by DLBCL cells induced fibroblastic proliferation. The resultant conspicuous fibrosis caused interfibrous impingement on the DLBCL cells, which deformed them into a spindle shape. The present case is the first reported case of a PDGF-producing Sp-DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC4129058  PMID: 25120823
Spindle cell; storiform; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; skull; platelet-derived growth factor; vimentin
25.  Activation of the STAT3 Signaling Pathway Is Associated With Poor Survival in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Treated With R-CHOP 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2013;31(36):4520-4528.
We previously reported that constitutive STAT3 activation is a prominent feature of the activated B-cell subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (ABC-DLBCL). In this study, we investigated whether STAT3 activation can risk stratify patients with DLBCL.
Patients and Methods
By an immunohistochemical method, we investigated phosphotyrosine STAT3 (PY-STAT3) expression from 185 patients with DLBCL treated with R-CHOP (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone). Cell line-based siRNA experiments were also performed to generate an 11-gene, PY-STAT3 activation signature, which was used to study a previously published cohort of 222 patients with DLBCL. The STAT3 activation status determined by these two methods and by STAT3 mRNA levels were then correlated with survival.
PY-STAT3 was detected in 37% of DLBCL and enriched in ABC-DLBCL cases (P = .03). PY-STAT3 positivity significantly correlated with poor overall survival (OS; P = .01) and event-free survival (EFS; P = .006). Similar observations were made for high levels of STAT3 mRNA. In multivariable analysis, PY-STAT3 status (P = .02), International Prognostic Index (P = .02), and BCL2 expression (P = .046) were independent prognosticators of OS in this cohort. Among the cell-of-origin subgroups, PY-STAT3 was associated with poor EFS among non–germinal center B-cell DLBCL cases only (P = .027). Similarly, the 11-gene STAT3 activation signature correlated with poor survival in the entire DLBCL cohort (OS, P < .001; EFS, P < .001) as well as the ABC-DLBCL subgroup (OS, P = .029; EFS, P = .025).
STAT3 activation correlated with poor survival in patients with DLBCL treated with R-CHOP, especially those with tumors of the ABC-DLBCL subtype.
PMCID: PMC3871513  PMID: 24220563

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