Approximately 15% of follicular lymphomas (FLs) lack breaks in the BCL2 locus. The aim of this study was to better define molecular and clinical features of BCL2-breakpoint/t(14;18)-negative FLs. We studied the presence of BCL2, BCL6 and MYC breaks by fluorescence in situ hybridization and the expression of BCL2, MUM1, CD10, P53 and Ki67 in large clinical trial cohorts of 540 advanced-stage FL cases and 116 early-stage disease FL patients treated with chemotherapy regimens and radiation, respectively. A total of 86% and 53% of advanced- and early-stage FLs were BCL2-breakpoint-positive, respectively. BCL2 was expressed in almost all FLs with BCL2 break and also in 86% and 69% of BCL2-breakpoint-negative advanced- and early-stage FLs, respectively. CD10 expression was significantly reduced in BCL2-breakpoint-negative FLs of all stages and MUM1 and Ki67 expression were significantly increased in BCL2-break-negative early-stage FLs. Patient characteristics did not differ between FLs with and without BCL2 breaks and neither did survival times in advanced-stage FLs. These results suggest that the molecular profile differs to some extent between FLs with and without BCL2 breaks and support the notion that FLs with and without BCL2 breaks belong to the same lymphoma entity.
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GO, HH and AS were supported by the Robert-Bosch-Stiftung (Stuttgart, Germany) and the German José Carreras Leukemia Foundation (München, Germany) grant DJCLS R 10/28. We thank all members of the German Low Grade Lymphoma Study Group (GLSG) who are not co-authors of this study as well as Theodora Nedeva, Heike Brückner, Eva Bachmann, Olivera Batic and Claudia Becher and Reina Zühlke-Jenisch for technical assistance.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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Leich, E., Hoster, E., Wartenberg, M. et al. Similar clinical features in follicular lymphomas with and without breaks in the BCL2 locus. Leukemia 30, 854–860 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/leu.2015.330
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