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1.  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
2.  Primary bone marrow diffuse large B-cell lymphoma accompanying cold agglutinin disease: A case report with review of the literature 
Oncology Letters  2013;7(1):79-81.
Cold agglutinin disease (CAD) is a well-recognized complication of lymphoproliferative disorders. It has been previously recognized that cases of primary CAD frequently exhibit underlying malignant lymphoma in the bone marrow. Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma is the most common subtype of malignant lymphoma; however, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has also been documented, albeit extremely rare. The current report presents a case of primary bone marrow DLBCL accompanying CAD. A 76-year-old male presented with fever and fatigue. Laboratory tests revealed anemia and elevated bilirubin and cold agglutinins with a titer of 8,192 at 4°C. Bone marrow biopsy demonstrated DLBCL and systemic surveillance failed to detect tumorous lesions or lymphadenopathy. Following R-THP-COP therapy, cold agglutinins titer was markedly decreased (by <4); however, malignant lymphoma relapsed and cold agglutinin levels increased again (4,096). This is the second documented case of primary bone marrow DLBCL accompanying CAD. Previously, malignant lymphoma exclusively involving the bone marrow, namely primary bone marrow lymphoma (PBML), has been recognized as a rare and aggressive subtype. The analyses of the present study revealed that the incidence of hemolytic anemia in primary bone marrow DLBCL may be high compared with conventional DLBCL. Therefore, additional analyses are required to clarify the clinicopathological features of PBML.
PMCID: PMC3861573  PMID: 24348825
diffuse large B cell lymphoma; cold agglutinin disease; primary bone marrow lymphoma
3.  De novo CD5 Positive Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphomas with Bone Marrow Involvement in Korean 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2004;19(6):815-819.
In CD5 positive (CD5+) mature B-cell lymphomas, newly recognized CD5+ diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has been characterized by aggressive features. We studied twenty-five cases with CD5+ lymphomas involving bone marrow. Eleven cases were diagnosed as chronic lymphocytic leukemia, six cases were diagnosed as mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), and three cases with morphologic characteristics of MCL and without both the cyclin D1 expression and IGH/CCND1 rearrangement were unclassifiable. The remaining five cases, showing large to medium-sized lym-phoid cells with prominent nucleoli and a moderate amount of cytoplasm, were diagnosed as DLBCL. Five DLBCL cases were positive for CD5, CD20, surface immuno-globulin, but negative for CD23. Patients with CD5+ DLBCL showed a high age of onset (median, 68 yr) and two patients expired one month after the diagnosis. Since CD5+ DLBCL forms a distinct subgroup of DLBCL, a study of CD5 expression in DLBCL would be helpful to predict prognosis and to determine future therapeutic strategy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on de novo CD5+ DLBCL in Koreans.
PMCID: PMC2816303  PMID: 15608391
Antigens, CD5; Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic; Lymphoma, Mantle-Cell; Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Diffuse
4.  ALK-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: report of four cases and review of the literature 
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (ALK-DLBCL) is a rare lymphoma with several clinicopathological differences from ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). The latest WHO classification of lymphomas recognizes ALK-DLBCL as a separate entity.
A comprehensive comparison was made between the clinical and pathological features of the 4 cases reported and those found in an extensive literature search using MEDLINE through December 2008.
In our series, three cases were adults and one was pediatric. Two cases had primary extranodal disease (multifocal bone and right nasal fossa). Stages were I (n = 1), II (n = 1), III (n = 1) and IV (n = 1). Two cases had increased LDH levels and three reported B symptoms. IPI scores were 0 (n = 1), 2 (n = 2) and 3 (n = 1). All cases exhibited plasmablastic morphology. By immunohistochemistry, cases were positive for cytoplasmic ALK, MUM1, CD45, and EMA; they marked negative for CD3, CD30 and CD20. Studies for EBV and HHV-8 were negative. The survival for the patients with stage I, II, III and IV were 13, 62, 72 and 11 months, respectively.
ALK-DLBCL is a distinct variant of DLBCL with plasmacytic differentiation, which is characterized by a bimodal age incidence curve, primarily nodal involvement, plasmablastic morphology, lack of expression of CD20, aggressive behavior and poor response to standard therapies, although some cases can have prolonged survival as the cases reported in this study. ALK-DLBCL does not seem associated to immunosuppression or the presence of EBV or HHV8. Further prospective studies are needed to optimize therapies for this entity.
PMCID: PMC2651189  PMID: 19250532
5.  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
6.  Commentary on the WHO classification of tumors of lymphoid tissues (2008): “Gray zone” lymphomas overlapping with Burkitt lymphoma or classical Hodgkin lymphoma 
Journal of Hematopathology  2009;2(2):89-95.
The 2008 WHO Classification of Tumors of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues has introduced two new categories of high-grade B-cell lymphomas: entities in which features of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) overlap with Burkitt lymphoma (DLBCL/BL) or classical Hodgkin lymphoma (DLBCL/HL). The DLBCL/BL category encompasses cases that resemble Burkitt lymphoma morphologically, but have one or more immunophenotypic or molecular genetic deviations that would exclude it from the BL category; conversely, some cases have immunophenotypic and/or genetic features of BL, but display cytologic variability unacceptable for BL. Many of the cases in the DLBCL/BL category contain a translocation of MYC as well as either BCL2 or BCL6 (so-called double-hit lymphomas) and have a very aggressive clinical behavior. The DLBCL/HL category encompasses lymphomas that exhibit the morphology of classical Hodgkin lymphoma but the immunophenotype of DLBCL, or vice versa. Most DLBCL/HL cases described present as mediastinal masses, but this category is not limited to mediastinal lymphomas. These new categories acknowledge the increasing recognition of cases that display mixed features of two well-established diseases. Whether the existence of such cases reflects shortcomings of our current diagnostic armamentarium or a true disease continuum in which such hybrid or intermediate neoplasms actually exist remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC2725285  PMID: 19669187
Burkitt; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Hodgkin lymphoma; Gray zone lymphoma
7.  Commentary on the WHO classification of tumors of lymphoid tissues (2008): “Gray zone” lymphomas overlapping with Burkitt lymphoma or classical Hodgkin lymphoma 
Journal of Hematopathology  2009;2(2):89-95.
The 2008 WHO Classification of Tumors of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues has introduced two new categories of high-grade B-cell lymphomas: entities in which features of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) overlap with Burkitt lymphoma (DLBCL/BL) or classical Hodgkin lymphoma (DLBCL/HL). The DLBCL/BL category encompasses cases that resemble Burkitt lymphoma morphologically, but have one or more immunophenotypic or molecular genetic deviations that would exclude it from the BL category; conversely, some cases have immunophenotypic and/or genetic features of BL, but display cytologic variability unacceptable for BL. Many of the cases in the DLBCL/BL category contain a translocation of MYC as well as either BCL2 or BCL6 (so-called double-hit lymphomas) and have a very aggressive clinical behavior. The DLBCL/HL category encompasses lymphomas that exhibit the morphology of classical Hodgkin lymphoma but the immunophenotype of DLBCL, or vice versa. Most DLBCL/HL cases described present as mediastinal masses, but this category is not limited to mediastinal lymphomas. These new categories acknowledge the increasing recognition of cases that display mixed features of two well-established diseases. Whether the existence of such cases reflects shortcomings of our current diagnostic armamentarium or a true disease continuum in which such hybrid or intermediate neoplasms actually exist remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC2725285  PMID: 19669187
Burkitt; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Hodgkin lymphoma; Gray zone lymphoma
8.  Epstein-Barr Virus-Induced Gene 3 (EBI3): A Novel Diagnosis Marker in Burkitt Lymphoma and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24617.
The distinction between Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), two types of mature aggressive B-cell lymphomas that require distinct treatments, can be difficult because of forms showing features intermediate between DLBCL and BL (here called BL/DLBCL). They can be discriminated by the presence of c-myc translocations characteristic of BL. However, these are not exclusive of BL and when present in DLBCL are associated with lower survival. In this study, we show that Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 3 (EBI3) is differentially expressed among BL and DLBCL. Analysis of gene expression data from 502 cases of aggressive mature B-cell lymphomas available on Gene Expression Omnibus and immunohistochemical analysis of 184 cases of BL, BL/DLBCL or DLBCL, showed that EBI3 was not expressed in EBV-positive or -negative BL cases, whereas it was expressed by over 30% of tumoral cells in nearly 80% of DLBCL cases, independently of their subtypes. In addition, we show that c-myc overexpression represses EBI3 expression, and that DLBCL or BL/DLBCL cases with c-myc translocations have lower expression of EBI3. Thus, EBI3 immunohistochemistry could be useful to discriminate BL from DLBCL, and to identify cases of BL/DLBCL or DLBCL with potential c-myc translocations.
PMCID: PMC3169615  PMID: 21931777
9.  Lack of Utility of CD20 Immunohistochemistry in Staging Bone Marrow Biopsies for Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma 
The utility of CD20 immunohistochemistry in the evaluation of staging bone marrow biopsies of newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) patients has not been extensively studied. We used 113 routinely processed bone marrow biopsies to study the extent and pattern of involvement by lymphoma and CD20 staining. Twelve (10.6%) of 113 cases had involvement by morphology, and five (41.7%) of these showed histologic discordance between the primary site and the bone marrow. All cases with morphologic evidence of bone marrow involvement showed staining for CD20. Four (3.5%) of 113 cases had non-neoplastic aggregates that stained for CD20. One case (0.9%) showed a small benign lymphoid aggregate by immunohistochemistry that was not evident by morphology. Our results demonstrate that CD20 staining did not detect any examples of bone marrow involvement by DLBCL that were not evident by morphology. We conclude that immunohistochemistry for CD20 adds no increase in the sensitivity of detection of bone marrow infiltration by DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC2696064  PMID: 19521275
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; bone marrow; staging; immunohistochemistry; CD20
10.  Hepatosplenic alpha/beta T-cell lymphoma masquerading as cirrhosis 
A 59-year-old man with diabetes mellitus, prior hepatitis B infection and recently diagnosed cirrhosis with prior Babesiosis presented to our institution from an outside hospital with six months of worsening abdominal pain, myalgias and fevers. On admission, physical examination revealed jaundice, hepatosplenomegaly and diffuse lymphadenopathy. Laboratory investigations demonstrated mild anemia, thrombocytopenia, hyperbilirubinemia and elevated lactate dehydrogenase. Tests for human immunodeficiency virus, and active Babesia microti infection were negative, however Epstein-Barr virus DNA by quantitative PCR was markedly elevated. CT scan revealed features suggestive of a cirrhotic liver without focal mass lesions as well as massive splenomegaly with axillary, retroperitoneal and inguinal lymphadenopathy. Bone marrow and lymph node biopsies were obtained which ultimately revealed hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. The patient’s initial liver biopsy from five months prior to presentation was re-evaluated by our institution’s pathologists. Histologic analysis showed hepatic sinusoidal and portal infiltration of atypical lymphocytes morphologically identical to those present on the more recently excised lymph node tissue. The hepatic sinusoidal lymphoid cells were strongly positive for CD2, CD3 and CD5 whereas CD4, CD8 stained only minor subsets of the T cells. Subsequent flow cytometric immunophenotypying of peripheral blood identified T-cell receptor alpha/beta positive cells that lacked CD4 and CD8 (double negative alpha/beta T cells). Given the established bone marrow involvement, he was diagnosed with stage IV disease and treated with chemotherapy. His clinical course involved multiple hospitalizations complicated by hyponatremia, neutropenic fevers and pulmonary emboli. Following his fourth cycle of chemotherapy, he developed worsening liver failure and expired approximately three months after initial diagnosis of lymphoma. Hepatosplenic lymphoma of alpha/beta T cells is a rare malignancy with largely unclear risk factors and varied clinical presentations. Notably, diffuse infiltration of liver parenchyma is a prominent feature and the disease can mimic cirrhosis clinically as well as radiographically. Early recognition of this aggressive lymphoma is important and should be considered in the evaluation of patients in whom the etiology of cirrhosis remains in question.
PMCID: PMC3635184  PMID: 23730508
Liver cirrhosis; T-cell lymphoma; autoimmune hepatitis; Babesia microti
11.  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
12.  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(1):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
13.  Clinicopathologic Characterization of Diffuse-Large-B-Cell Lymphoma with an Associated Serum Monoclonal IgM Component 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93903.
Recently, diffuse-large-B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) associated with serum IgM monoclonal component (MC) has been shown to be a very poor prognostic subset although, detailed pathological and molecular data are still lacking. In the present study, the clinicopathological features and survival of IgM-secreting DLBCL were analyzed and compared to non-secreting cases in a series of 151 conventional DLBCL treated with R-CHOP. IgM MC was detected in 19 (12.5%) out of 151 patients at disease onset. In 17 of these cases secretion was likely due to the neoplastic clone, as suggested by the expression of heavy chain IgM protein in the cytoplasm of tumor cells. In IgM-secreting cases immunoblastic features (p<.0001), non-GCB-type (p = .002) stage III-IV(p = .003), ≥2 extra nodal sites (p<.0001), bone-marrow (p = .002), central-nervous-system (CNS) involvement at disease onset or relapse (p<.0001), IPI-score 3–5 (p = .009) and failure to achieve complete remission (p = .005), were significantly more frequent. FISH analyses for BCL2, BCL6 and MYC gene rearrangements detected only two cases harboring BCL2 gene translocation and in one case a concomitant BCL6 gene translocation was also observed. None of the IgM-secreting DLBCL was found to have L265P mutation of MYD88 gene. Thirty-six month event-free (11.8% vs 66.4% p<.0001), progression-free (23.5% vs 75.7%, p<.0001) and overall (47.1% vs 74.8%, p<.0001) survivals were significantly worse in the IgM-secreting group. In multivariate analysis IgM-secreting (p = .005, expB = 0.339, CI = 0.160-0.716) and IPI-score 3–5 (p = .010, expB = 0.274, CI = 0.102–0.737) were the only significant factors for progression-free-survival. Notably, four relapsed patients, who were treated with salvage immmunochemotherapy combined with bortezomib or lenalidomide, achieved lasting remission. Our data suggests that IgM-secreting cases are a distinct subset of DLBCL, originating from activated-B-cells with terminally differentiated features, prevalent extra nodal dissemination and at high risk of CNS involvement.
PMCID: PMC3976325  PMID: 24705344
14.  Primary spleen extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma, nasal type, with bone marrow involvement and CD30 positive expression: a case report and literature review 
Diagnostic Pathology  2014;9(1):169.
Primay spleen NK/T cell lymphoma is very rare. We report a case of 39-years-old male of primary splenic NK/T cell lymphoma with bone marrow involvement and CD30 positive expression.
Case description
The patient had high fever for 2 months, and CT scan revealed a diffuse splenomegaly without hepatomegaly. The diagnosis was established by splenectomy specimen and bone marrow biopsy. Normal spleen structure was destroyed by the diffusely infiltrated neoplastic cells, and one of the splenic hilar lymph nodes was involved. The lymphomatous cells were mainly medium-sized, mixed with small and large cells with pleomorphic nuclei and conspicuous nucleoli. Angiocentric growth pattern was present, with mitotic figures and apoptotic bodies easily being found. These neoplastic cells demonstrated a typical immunophenotype of CD2, CD3ε, CD7, CD4, CD56, TIA-1, Granzyme B, CD30 positive, and CD5, CD8, CD20, CD79a negative. The Epstein-Barr virus encoded RNAs (EBERs) genomes were also found in tumor cells by in situ hybridization, while no clonal rearrangement of the T cell receptor-γ genes (TCRG) was found. Biopsy of bone marrow revealed scattered atypical cells presented with a predominantly intrasinusoidal distribution. A diagnosis as primary spleen NK/T cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKTL) with CD30 expression and bone marrow involvement was finally made. The patient received chemotherapy and was still alive 6 months after splenectomy.
Clinical significance
Primary spleen ENKTL is very rare, it should be made with the combination of clinical feature, PET-CT image, and pathological characteristics, and should be distinguished from other lymphomas or leukemia involved in spleen.
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PMCID: PMC4167522  PMID: 25183396
15.  Primary testicular diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: A case report focusing on touch imprint cytology and a non-germinal center B-cell-like phenotype 
Primary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the testis is a rare subtype of testicular tumor. While the histomorphology of testicular DLBCL is well described, a paucity of information in the literature exists with regard to the cytological diagnosis of this subtype of tumor. Touch imprint specimens were obtained from a testicular DLBCL occurring in a 64-year-old man. The cytological features of imprints were compared with the results obtained from histological and immunohistochemical examinations. Smears obtained from the touch imprints exhibited a high cellular yield consisting of discretely arranged monomorphic large cells with irregular nuclear membranes, scant cytoplasm and conspicuous nucleoli. Histologically, the tumor consisted of discohesive neoplastic lymphocytes that infiltrated diffusely and produced a wide separation of intact seminiferous tubules. Diffuse, intense immunostaining for CD45, CD20, MUM1 and Ki-67 led to the diagnosis of primary DLBCL of the testis with a non-germinal center B-cell-like phenotype. Careful observation of the touch imprint specimens of testicular DLBCL revealed a high cellularity with a predominant single-cell pattern of monomorphic cells demonstrating irregular nuclear membranes and conspicuous nucleoli. In addition, DLBCL is capable of developing in the testis and forming a predominantly discohesive cell population, suggesting the presence of a lymphoid malignancy. Thus, it may be possible to detect morphological features that are characteristic of DLBCL using imprint cytology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the diagnosis of testicular DLBCL using touch imprint cytology.
PMCID: PMC3735593  PMID: 23935714
diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; testis; touch imprint cytology; non-germinal center B-cell-like phenotype
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a very infrequent neoplasm in the pediatric age group; therefore there are very few studies on the immunophenotype or genetics of these cases. We studied a series of 16 patients with nodal DLBCL occurring in patients between 10 and 18 years of age. The cases were classified according to the 2008 World Health Organization classification criteria, with application of immunohistochemistry for the detection of CD10, BCL-6 and MUM1 proteins to divide the lymphomas into germinal center and non-germinal center types. In addition, TCL1, BCL-2 expression, and the Ki-67 proliferation index were evaluated by immunohistochemistry, and c-MYC and BCL-2 translocations were evaluated by FISH. All these parameters were correlated with clinical features and outcome. Our study revealed that centroblastic morphology and the germinal center type of DLBCL are more prevalent in these young patients (63%), with 37% containing a c-MYC translocation. Only one case showed a BCL-2 translocation, reflecting a double-hit case with features intermediate between DLBCL and Burkitt lymphoma. We found a higher frequency of BCL-2 expression than previously reported, with no direct influence on the outcome of the disease in univariate or multivariate analysis. The expression of TCL1 has not been specifically studied in nodal pediatric DLBCL before; we found a 31% incidence of TCL1 expression. MUM1 expression was observed in 44% of the cases and these positive cases showed a significant negative impact on clinical outcome. TCL1 is directly and significantly associated with the presence of c-MYC and a high proliferative index. The germinal center and non-germinal center subtypes showed significant differences for both overall survival and disease-free interval. C-MYC translocation was found in 37% of patients, and had a favorable impact on clinical outcome. We conclude that nodal pediatric and adolescent DLBCL are mainly of the germinal center type, with a generally good outcome in spite of the frequent expression of BCL-2 and the presence of c-MYC translocation. TCL1 expression seems to be associated with a good clinical outcome, while MUM1 expression predicts a poor clinical outcome.
PMCID: PMC2788112  PMID: 19816150
pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; TCL-1; germinal center-like DLBCL (GCB); non-germinal center-like DLBCL; c-MYC and BCL-2
17.  Routine use of ancillary investigations in staging diffuse large B-cell lymphoma improves the International Prognostic Index (IPI) 
The International Prognostic Index (IPI) is used to determine prognosis in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). One of the determinants of IPI is the stage of disease with bone marrow involvement being classified as stage IV. For the IPI, involvement on bone marrow is traditionally defined on the basis of histology with ancillary investigations used only in difficult cases to aid histological diagnosis. This study aimed to determine the effect of the routine use of flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and molecular studies in bone marrow staging upon the IPI.
Bone marrow trephines of 156 histologically proven DLBCL cases at initial diagnosis were assessed on routine histology, and immunohistochemistry using two T-cell markers (CD45RO and CD3), two B-cell markers (CD20 and CD79a) and kappa and lambda light chains. Raw flow cytometry data on all samples were reanalysed and reinterpreted blindly. DNA extracted from archived paraffin-embedded trephine biopsy samples was used for immunoglobulin heavy chain and light chain gene rearrangement analysis. Using immunophenotyping (flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry), 30 (19.2%) cases were upstaged to stage IV. A further 8 (5.1%) cases were upstaged using molecular studies. A change in IPI was noted in 18 cases (11.5%) on immunophenotyping alone, and 22 (14.1%) cases on immunophenotyping and molecular testing. Comparison of two revised IPI models, 1) using immunophenotyping alone, and 2) using immunophenotyping with molecular studies, was performed with baseline IPI using a Cox regression model. It showed that the revised IPI model using immunophenotyping provides the best differentiation between the IPI categories.
Improved bone marrow staging using flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry improves the predictive value of the IPI in patients with DLBCL and should be performed routinely in all cases.
PMCID: PMC2786909  PMID: 19930611
18.  Precursor T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia presenting with bone marrow necrosis: a case report 
Bone marrow necrosis is a clinicopathological condition diagnosed most often at postmortem examination, but it is also seen during the course of malignancy and is not always associated with a poor prognosis. The morphological features of bone marrow necrosis are disruption of the normal marrow architecture and necrosis of myeloid tissue and medullary stroma. Non-malignant conditions associated with bone marrow necrosis are sickle cell anemia, infections, drugs (sulfasalazine, interferon α, all-trans retinoic acid, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and fludarabine), disseminated intravascular coagulation, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome and acute graft versus host diseases. The malignant causes are leukemia, lymphoma and metastatic carcinomas. Herein we report the case of a patient with precursor T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and bone marrow necrosis at initial presentation.
Case presentation
A 10-year-old Kurdish boy was presented with generalized bone pain and fever of 1 month’s duration which was associated with sweating, easy fatigability, nose bleeding, breathlessness and severe weight loss. On examination, we observed pallor, tachypnea, tachycardia, low blood pressure, fever, petechial hemorrhage, ecchymoses, tortuous dilated veins over the chest and upper part of abdomen, multiple small cervical lymph node enlargements, mildly enlarged spleen, palpable liver and gross abdominal distention. Blood analysis revealed pancytopenia and elevated lactate dehydrogenase and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Imaging results showed mediastinal widening on a planar chest X-ray and diffuse focal infiltration of the axial bone marrow on magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbosacral vertebrae. Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy examination showed extensive bone marrow necrosis. Immunophenotyping analysis of the bone marrow biopsy confirmed T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, as CD3 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase markers were positive and CD10, CD20 and CD79a markers were negative.
The aggressive initial clinical presentation of our patient with huge mediastinal widening, development of superior vein cava syndrome and extensive bone marrow necrosis as initial signs made the diagnosis of the case difficult. The necrotic hematopoietic cells gave inconclusive results on the initial immunohistochemistry tests. The prognosis of bone marrow necrosis is better secondary to acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the pediatric age group compared with adults and those with underlying solid tumors. Despite the aggressive behavior at initial presentation, the patient responded to chemotherapy and necrosis disappeared at day 28 after the start of the therapeutic regimen.
PMCID: PMC3492084  PMID: 23057758
Bone marrow necrosis; Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Bone marrow aspiration
19.  Prognostic significance of the aggregative perivascular growth pattern of tumor cells in primary central nervous system diffuse large B-cell lymphoma 
Neuro-Oncology  2013;15(6):727-734.
Primary central nervous system lymphomas, predominantly diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (PCNS-DLBCL), are aggressive malignancies, and no histopathological variables with independent prognostic value are currently available. The aim of this study is to determine the prognostic value of histopathological variables of PCNS-DLBCL.
Aggregative perivascular tumor cells (APVTs) and reactive perivascular T cell infiltrates (RPVIs) in tumor samples from 62 immunocompetent patients with PCNS-DLBCL were histopathologically and immunohistochemically studied. A mouse brain DLBCL model was established to confirm the special morphological features of PCNS-DLBCL. The therapy, overall response rate (ORR), and overall survival (OS) among patients were followed up.
APVT was present in 54 (87%) of the 62 cases, whereas RPVI was present in 20 (32%). Patients with APVT-positive lesions exhibited significantly worse OS, with intermediate to high International Extranodal Lymphoma Study Group (IELSG) scores, compared with patients with RPVI-positive lesions. Among cases of APVT-positive lymphoma, the semiquantitative score of immunostaining of X-box–binding protein (XBP1) and CD44 demonstrated prognostic significance. Multivariate analysis confirmed independent associations between APVT and XBP1 and between CD44 staining and survival.
The presence of APVT and staining of XBP1 and CD44 are independently associated with survival among patients with PCNS-DLBCL. These features could be routinely assessed in histopathological and immunohistochemical specimens.
PMCID: PMC3661096  PMID: 23482670
central nervous system; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; histopathology; prognosis
20.  Immunohistochemical Detection of MYC-driven Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphomas 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e33813.
Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disease. A small subset of DLBCLs has translocations involving the MYC locus and an additional group has a molecular signature resembling Burkitt lymphoma (mBL). Presently, identification of such cases by morphology is unreliable and relies on cytogenetic or complex molecular methods such as gene transcriptional profiling. Herein, we describe an immunohistochemical (IHC) method for identifying DLBCLs with increased MYC protein expression. We tested 77 cases of DLBCL and identified 15 cases with high MYC protein expression (nuclear staining in >50% of tumor cells). All MYC translocation positive cases had increased MYC protein expression by this IHC assay. In addition, gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) of the DLBCL transcriptional profiles revealed that tumors with increased MYC protein expression (regardless of underlying MYC translocation status) had coordinate upregulation of MYC target genes, providing molecular confirmation of the IHC results. We then generated a molecular classifier derived from the MYC IHC results in our cases and employed it to successfully classify mBLs from two previously reported independent case series, providing additional confirmation that the MYC IHC results identify clinically important subsets of DLBCLs. Lastly, we found that DLBCLs with high MYC protein expression had inferior overall survival when treated with R-CHOP. In conclusion, the IHC method described herein can be used to readily identify the biologically and clinically distinct cases of MYC-driven DLBCL, which represent a clinically significant subset of DLBCL cases due to their inferior overall survival.
PMCID: PMC3325231  PMID: 22511926
21.  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
22.  Clinical significance of nuclear factor κB and chemokine receptor CXCR4 expression in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who received rituximab-based therapy 
This study investigated the expression of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and the chemokine receptor (CXCR4) in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who received rituximab-based therapy.
Seventy patients with DLBCL and treated with rituximab-CHOP (R-CHOP) were included, and immunohistochemistry was performed to determine the expression of NF-κB (IκB kinase α, p50, and p100/p52) and CXCR4. To classify DLBCL cases as germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) and non-GCB, additional immunohistochemical expression of CD10, bcl-6, or MUM1 was used in this study. The expression was divided into two groups according to the intensity score (negative, 0 or 1+; positive, 2+ or 3+).
The median age of the patients was 66 years (range, 17 to 87), and 58.6% were male. Twenty-seven patients (38.6%) had stage III or IV disease at diagnosis. Twenty-three patients (32.9%) were categorized as high or high-intermediate risk according to their International Prognostic Indexs (IPIs). The overall incidence of bone marrow involvement was 5.7%. Rates of positive NF-κB and CXCR4 expression were 84.2% and 88.6%, respectively. High NF-κB expression was associated with CXCR4 expression (p = 0.002), and 56 patients (80.0%) showed coexpression. However, the expression of NF-κB or CXCR4 was not associated with overall survival and EFS. On multivariate analysis that included age, gender, performance status, stage, and the IPI, no significant association between the grade of NF-κB or CXCR4 expression and survival was observed.
The current study suggests that the tissue expression of NF-κB and CXCR4 may not be an independent prognostic marker in DLBCL patients treated with R-CHOP.
PMCID: PMC4219968  PMID: 25378977
Lymphoma; NF-kappa B; CXCR4
23.  Endocytoscopic findings of lymphomas of the stomach 
BMC Gastroenterology  2013;13:174.
The gastric lesions of various lymphomas were observed at the cellular level using endocytoscopy.
Endocytoscopy and magnifying endoscopy with narrow band imaging (NBI) were performed in 17 patients with lymphomas of the stomach. The lesions consisted of 7 with low-grade mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), 5 with gastric involvement by adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL), 4 with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and 1 with peripheral T-cell lymphoma.
On conventional endoscopy, 9 were classified as having superficial spreading type, 7 were mass-forming type, and 1 was diffuse infiltrating type. Anti-H. pylori treatment was given in the 7 MALT lymphoma cases. NBI magnification endoscopy invariably showed dilatation or ballooning and destruction of gastric pits and elongation and distortion in microvessels. Endocytoscopy showed mucosal aggregation of interstitial cellular elements in almost all gastric lymphoma cases. The nuclear diversity in size and configuration was exclusively seen in gastric lymphomas other than MALT lymphoma, whereas the nuclei of MALT lymphoma cells were regular and small to moderate in size. Inter-glandular infiltration by lymphomatous cell elements was frequently observed in MALT lymphoma and DLBCL, but it was uncommon in peripheral gastric T-cell malignancies. Endocytoscopy could identify the disease-specific histology, the lymphoepithelial origin, as inter-glandular infiltration of cellular components in MALT lymphoma and the possibly related DLBCL cases. Complete regression (CR) was observed in 2 of the 7 MALT lymphoma patients. In the 2 patients with CR who underwent repeat endocytoscopy, the ultra-high magnification abnormalities returned to normal, while they were unchanged in those without tumor regression.
On endocytoscopy, intra-glandular aggregation of cellular components was invariably identified in lymphomas of the stomach. Nuclear regularity in size and configuration may indicate the cytological grade, differentiating the indolent low-grade from aggressive lymphoproliferative diseases. The inter-glandular infiltration seen on endocytoscopy can indicate the lymphoepithelial lesions seen in MALT lymphoma and related DLBCL. Endocytoscopy would be applicable for virtual histopathological diagnosis of different lymphoproliferative disorders and their clinical assessment during ongoing endoscopy.
PMCID: PMC3877966  PMID: 24369830
ATLL; DLBCL; Endocytoscopy; Gastric low-grade MALT lymphoma; H. pylori; Narrow band imaging
24.  Primary Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma of the Oral Cavity: Germinal Center Classification 
Head and Neck Pathology  2010;4(3):181-191.
Primary lymphomas of the oral cavity are rare and the most frequent type is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Recently, several reports have highlighted the value of classifying DLBCL into prognostically important subgroups, namely germinal center B-cell like (GCB) and non-germinal center B-cell like (non-GCB) lymphomas based on gene expression profiles and by immunohistochemical expression of CD10, BCL6 and MUM-1. GCB lymphomas tend to exhibit a better prognosis than non-GCB lymphomas. Studies validating this classification have been done for DLBCL of the breast, CNS, testes and GI tract. Therefore we undertook this study to examine if primary oral DLBCLs reflect this trend. We identified 13 cases (age range 38–91 years) from our archives dating from 2003–09. IHC was performed using antibodies against germinal center markers (CD10, BCL6), activated B-cell markers (MUM1, BCL2) and Ki-67 (proliferation marker). Cases were sub-classified as GCB subgroup if CD10 and/or BCL6 were positive and MUM-1, was negative and as non-GCB subgroup if CD10 was negative and MUM-1 was positive. Immunoreactivity was noted in 2/13 cases for CD10, in 12/13 for BCL6, in 8/13 for MUM-1, and in 6/13 for BCL2. Therefore, 8/13 (58%) were sub-classified as non-GCB DLBCLs and 5/13 (42%) as GCB subgroup. All tumors showed frequent labeling with Ki-67 (range 40–95%). Four of the 8 patients with non-GCB subgroup succumbed to their disease, with the mean survival rate of 16 months. Two patients in this group are alive, one with no evidence of disease and another with disease. No information was available for the other 3 patients in this group. Four of the 5 patients in the GCB subgroup were alive with no evidence of disease and one patient succumbed to complications of therapy and recurrent disease after 18 months. In conclusion, our analysis shows that primary oral DLBCL predominantly belongs to the non-GCB subgroup, which tends to exhibit a poorer prognosis. These findings could allow pathologists to provide a more accurate insight into the potential aggressive behavior and poorer prognosis of these lymphomas.
PMCID: PMC2923304  PMID: 20533006
Oral large B cell lymphoma; Germinal center; Immunohistochemistry; CD10; BCL6; MUM-1
25.  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

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