Publications by authors named "Randy D Gascoyne"

391 Publications

Gene expression-based model predicts outcome in children with intermediate-risk classical Hodgkin lymphoma.

Blood 2021 Oct 18. Epub 2021 Oct 18.

University of British Columbia, Canada.

Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) is a common malignancy in children and adolescents. Although cHL is highly curable, treatment with chemotherapy and radiation often come at the cost of long-term toxicity and morbidity. Effective risk-stratification tools are needed to tailor therapy. Here, we used gene expression profiling (GEP) to investigate tumor microenvironment (TME) biology, determine molecular correlates of treatment failure, and develop an outcome model prognostic for pediatric cHL. A total of 246 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue biopsies from patients enrolled in the Children's Oncology Group trial AHOD0031 were used for GEP and compared to adult cHL data. Eosinophils, B-cells, and mast cell signatures were enriched in children, while macrophage and stromal signatures were more prominent in adults. Concordantly, a previously published model for overall survival prediction in adult cHL did not validate in pediatric cHL. Therefore, we developed a 9-cellular component model reflecting TME composition to predict event-free survival (EFS). In an independent validation cohort, we observed a significant difference in weighted 5-year EFS between high-risk and low-risk groups (75.2% vs. 90.3%; log-rank P = .0138) independent of interim response, stage, fever and albumin. We demonstrate unique disease biology in children and adolescents that can be harnessed for risk-stratification at diagnosis. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00025259.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2021011941DOI Listing
October 2021

Outcome of limited-stage nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma and the impact of a PET-adapted approach.

Blood Adv 2021 Sep;5(18):3647-3655

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer and Department of Medical Oncology.

Radiotherapy (RT) is typically incorporated into the treatment of limited-stage nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL), although it remains unknown whether chemotherapy alone may be suitable in select patients. We evaluated outcomes of limited-stage NLPHL at BC Cancer on the basis of era-specific guidelines: routine RT era, 1995 to 2005 (n = 36), combined modality with 2 cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine (ABVD) chemotherapy followed by RT or RT alone; positron emission tomography (PET) era, after 2005 (n = 63), ABVD alone (4 cycles) if the PET scan after the second cycle of ABVD (PET2) is negative, or treatment is changed to RT if PET2 is positive. Median age of patients was 38 years (range, 16-82 years), 73% were male, and 43% had stage II. With a median follow-up of 10.5 years for all patients, 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 93% and was 97% for overall survival (OS), with no difference by treatment era (PFS, P = .13; OS, P = .35). For the 49 patients who had a PET2 scan, 86% were PET negative and 14% were PET positive by Deauville criteria with 5-year PFS rates of 92% and 80% (P = .70), respectively. This is the largest study of a PET-adapted approach in NLPHL and supports that ABVD alone may be a viable option in select patients with a negative PET2 scan, with consideration of acute and long-term toxicities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004375DOI Listing
September 2021

MAPK and JAK-STAT pathways dysregulation in plasmablastic lymphoma.

Haematologica 2021 10 1;106(10):2682-2693. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Hematopathology Unit, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Cáncer (CIBERONC), Madrid.

Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is an aggressive B-cell lymphoma with an immunoblastic/large-cell morphology and terminal B-cell differentiation. The differential diagnosis from Burkitt lymphoma, plasma cell myeloma and some variants of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma may be challenging because of the overlapping morphological, genetic and immunophenotypic features. Furthermore, the genomic landscape in PBL is not well known. To characterize the genetic and molecular heterogeneity of these tumors, we investigated 34 cases of PBL using an integrated approach, including fluorescence in situ hybridization, targeted sequencing of 94 B-cell lymphoma-related genes, and copy-number arrays. PBL were characterized by high genetic complexity including MYC translocations (87%), gains of 1q21.1-q44, trisomy 7, 8q23.2- q24.21, 11p13-p11.2, 11q14.2-q25, 12p and 19p13.3-p13.13, losses of 1p33, 1p31.1-p22.3, 13q and 17p13.3-p11.2, and recurrent mutations of STAT3 (37%), NRAS and TP53 (33%), MYC and EP300 (19%) and CARD11, SOCS1 and TET2 (11%). Pathway enrichment analysis suggested a cooperative action between MYC alterations and MAPK (49%) and JAK-STAT (40%) signaling pathways. Of note, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-negative PBL cases had higher mutational and copy-number load and more frequent TP53, CARD11 and MYC mutations, whereas EBV-positive PBL tended to have more mutations affecting the JAK-STAT pathway. In conclusion, these findings further unravel the distinctive molecular heterogeneity of PBL identifying novel molecular targets and the different genetic profile of these tumors in relation to EBV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2020.271957DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8485662PMC
October 2021

Characterization of DLBCL with a PMBL gene expression signature.

Blood 2021 07;138(2):136-148

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBL) is a type of aggressive B-cell lymphoma that typically affects young adults, characterized by presence of a bulky anterior mediastinal mass. Lymphomas with gene expression features of PMBL have been described in nonmediastinal sites, raising questions about how these tumors should be classified. Here, we investigated whether these nonmediastinal lymphomas are indeed PMBLs or instead represent a distinct group within diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). From a cohort of 325 de novo DLBCL cases, we identified tumors from patients without evidence of anterior mediastinal involvement that expressed a PMBL expression signature (nm-PMBLsig+; n = 16; 5%). A majority of these tumors expressed MAL and CD23, proteins typically observed in bona fide PMBL (bf-PMBL). Evaluation of clinical features of nm-PMBLsig+ cases revealed close associations with DLBCL, and a majority displayed a germinal center B cell-like cell of origin (GCB). In contrast to patients with bf-PMBL, patients with nm-PMBLsig+ presented at an older age and did not show pleural disease, and bone/bone marrow involvement was observed in 3 cases. However, although clinically distinct from bf-PMBL, nm-PMBLsig+ tumors resembled bf-PMBL at the molecular level, with upregulation of immune response, JAK-STAT, and NF-κB signatures. Mutational analysis revealed frequent somatic gene mutations in SOCS1, IL4R, ITPKB, and STAT6, as well as CD83 and BIRC3, with the latter genes significantly more frequently affected than in GCB DLBCL or bf-PMBL. Our data establish nm-PMBLsig+ lymphomas as a group within DLBCL with distinct phenotypic and genetic features. These findings may have implications for gene expression- and mutation-based subtyping of aggressive B-cell lymphomas and related targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020007683DOI Listing
July 2021

Long-term outcomes of R-CEOP show curative potential in patients with DLBCL and a contraindication to anthracyclines.

Blood Adv 2021 03;5(5):1483-1489

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer and The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Doxorubicin plays an integral role in the treatment of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) but can be associated with significant toxicity. Treatment guidelines of British Columbia (BC) Cancer recommend the substitution of etoposide for doxorubicin in standard-dose R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) (R-CEOP) for patients who have a contraindication to anthracyclines; however, it is unknown if this compromises treatment outcome. We identified all patients with newly diagnosed DLBCL who were treated in BC with curative intent with R-CEOP (n = 70) within the study period. Outcome in this population was compared with a 2:1 case-matched control group (n = 140) treated with R-CHOP and matched for age, clinical stage, and International Prognostic Index score. The 10-year time to progression and disease-specific survival were not significantly different for patients treated with R-CEOP compared with patients in the R-CHOP control group (53% vs 62% [P = .089] and 58% vs 67% [P = .251], respectively). The 10-year overall survival was lower in the R-CEOP group (30% vs 49%, P = .002), reflecting the impact of underlying comorbidities and frailty of this population. R-CEOP represents a useful treatment alternative for patients with DLBCL and an absolute contraindication to the use of anthracyclines, with curative potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002982DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7948286PMC
March 2021

ROBUST: A Phase III Study of Lenalidomide Plus R-CHOP Versus Placebo Plus R-CHOP in Previously Untreated Patients With ABC-Type Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 04 23;39(12):1317-1328. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Division of Hematology, A.O.U. Città della Salute e della Scienza Hospital and University, Torino, Italy.

Purpose: Patients with the activated B-cell-like (ABC) subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) historically showed inferior survival with standard rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP). Phase II studies demonstrated that adding the immunomodulatory agent lenalidomide to R-CHOP improved outcomes in ABC-type DLBCL. The goal of the global, phase III ROBUST study was to compare lenalidomide plus R-CHOP (R2-CHOP) with placebo/R-CHOP in previously untreated, ABC-type DLBCL.

Methods: Histology and cell-of-origin type were prospectively analyzed by central pathology prior to random assignment and study treatment. Patients with ABC-DLBCL received lenalidomide oral 15 mg/d, days 1-14/21 plus standard R-CHOP21 versus placebo/R-CHOP21 for six cycles. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) per independent central radiology review.

Results: A total of 570 patients with ABC-DLBCL (n = 285 per arm) were stratified by International Prognostic Index score, age, and bulky disease, and randomly assigned to R2-CHOP or placebo/R-CHOP. Baseline demographics were similar between arms. Most patients completed six cycles of treatment: 74% R2-CHOP and 84% placebo/R-CHOP. The most common grade 3/4 adverse events for R2-CHOP versus placebo/R-CHOP were neutropenia (60% 48%), anemia (22% 14%), thrombocytopenia (17% 11%), and leukopenia (14% 15%). The primary end point of PFS was not met, with a hazard ratio of 0.85 (95% CI, 0.63 to 1.14) and = .29; median PFS has not been reached for either arm. PFS trends favoring R2-CHOP over placebo/R-CHOP were seen in patients with higher-risk disease.

Conclusion: ROBUST is the first DLBCL phase III study to integrate biomarker-driven identification of eligible ABC patients. Although the ROBUST trial did not meet the primary end point of PFS in all patients, the safety profile of R2-CHOP was consistent with individual treatments with no new safety signals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078325PMC
April 2021

BCL2 Expression in First-Line Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Identifies a Patient Population With Poor Prognosis.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2021 04 10;21(4):267-278.e10. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Multidisciplinary Oncology Outpatient Clinic, Candiolo Cancer Institute, FPO-IRCCS, Candiolo, Turin, Italy.

Introduction: The prognostic value of B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL2) expression in de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) treated with immunochemotherapy is of interest to define a target patient population for clinical development of BCL2 inhibitors. We aimed to develop a reproducible immunohistochemistry algorithm and assay to determine BCL2 protein expression and assess the prognostic value of BCL2 in newly diagnosed DLBCL cohorts.

Patients And Methods: The prospectively defined algorithm incorporated BCL2 staining intensity and percentage of BCL2-positive cells. Functionally relevant cutoffs were based on the sensitivity of lymphoma cell lines to venetoclax. This assay was highly reproducible across laboratories. The prognostic impact of BCL2 expression was assessed in DLBCL patients from the phase 3 MAIN (n = 230) and GOYA (n = 366) trials, and a population-based registry (n = 310).

Results: Approximately 50% of tumors were BCL2 positive, with a higher frequency in high International Prognostic Index (IPI) and activated B-cell-like DLBCL subgroups. BCL2 expression was associated with poorer progression-free survival in the MAIN study (hazard ratio [HR], 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81-3.40; multivariate Cox regression adjusted for IPI and cell of origin). This trend was confirmed in the GOYA and registry cohorts in adjusted multivariate analyses (GOYA: HR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.05-2.82; registry: HR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.29-2.78). Patients with BCL2 immunohistochemistry-positive and IPI-high disease had the poorest prognosis: 3-year progression-free survival rates were 51% (GOYA) and 37% (registry).

Conclusion: Findings support use of our BCL2 immunohistochemistry scoring system and assay to select patients with BCL2-positive tumors for future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2020.11.004DOI Listing
April 2021

The impact of MYC and BCL2 structural variants in tumors of DLBCL morphology and mechanisms of false-negative MYC IHC.

Blood 2021 04;137(16):2196-2208

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

When the World Health Organization defined high-grade B-cell lymphoma with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements (HGBL-DH/TH) as a clinical category, rearrangements were the only structural variant (SV) incorporated. An "atypical double-hit" category has been proposed, encompassing tumors with concurrent MYC and BCL2 SVs other than cooccurring translocations (ie, copy number variations [CNVs]). Although the identification of a gene expression signature (DHITsig) shared among tumors harboring MYC and BCL2 rearrangements (HGBL-DH/TH-BCL2) has confirmed a common underlying biology, the biological implication of MYC and BCL2 CNVs requires further elucidation. We performed a comprehensive analysis of MYC and BCL2 SVs, as determined by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), in a cohort of 802 de novo tumors with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma morphology. Although BCL2 CNVs were associated with increased expression, MYC CNVs were not. Furthermore, MYC and BCL2 CNVs, in the context of atypical double-hit, did not confer a similar gene expression profile as HGBL-DH/TH-BCL2. Finally, although MYC immunohistochemistry (IHC) has been proposed as a screening tool for FISH testing, 2 mechanisms were observed that uncoupled MYC rearrangement from IHC positivity: (1) low MYC messenger RNA expression; and (2) false-negative IHC staining mediated by a single-nucleotide polymorphism resulting in an asparagine-to-serine substitution at the 11th amino acid residue of MYC (MYC-N11S). Taken together, these results support the current exclusion of MYC and BCL2 CNVs from HGBL-DH/TH and highlight the ability of a molecular-based classification system to identify tumors with shared biology that FISH and IHC fail to fully capture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020007193DOI Listing
April 2021

A Three-Arm Randomized Phase II Study of Bendamustine/Rituximab with Bortezomib Induction or Lenalidomide Continuation in Untreated Follicular Lymphoma: ECOG-ACRIN E2408.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 09 12;26(17):4468-4477. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

Purpose: We sought to improve upon frontline bendamustine/rituximab (BR) induction therapy followed by rituximab maintenance in untreated high-risk follicular lymphoma (FL).

Patients And Methods: Patients were randomized to BR induction followed by 2-year rituximab maintenance (BR-R), BR with bortezomib and rituximab maintenance (BVR-R), or BR followed by lenalidomide (1 year) with rituximab maintenance (BR-LR). Dual primary objectives were complete remission (CR) rate and 1-year disease-free survival (DFS); 289 patients enrolled (NCT01216683).

Results: For induction, 92%, 87%, and 86% of patients randomized to BR-R, BVR-R, or BR-LR received six cycles, respectively. CR rate with BR versus BVR induction was 62% versus 75%, respectively ( = 0.04). One-year DFS rates with BR-R versus BR-LR were 85% versus 67%, respectively ( = 0.0009). This was due to an imbalance in CR rates post-BR induction and discontinuation due to adverse events (AEs). The most common grade 3-4 AEs for BVR versus BR were neutropenia and sensory neuropathy (12% vs <1%); 83% of the latter occurred with intravenous bortezomib. The most common grade 3-4 AEs related to LR versus rituximab maintenance were neutropenia 66% versus 21%, respectively ( < 0.0001), and febrile neutropenia 10% versus 2%, respectively ( = 0.05). The overall treatment-related mortality was 1.4%. With 5-year median follow-up, 3-year PFS rates for BR-R, BVR-R, and BR-LR were 77%, 82%, and 76%, respectively ( = 0.36) with OS rates of 87%, 90%, and 84%, respectively ( = 0.79). For prognostication, CR rate and POD-24 were associated with survival.

Conclusions: Altogether, neither bortezomib added to BR induction nor lenalidomide added to rituximab maintenance immediately post-BR induction is recommended in untreated FL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1345DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722783PMC
September 2020

Coding and noncoding drivers of mantle cell lymphoma identified through exome and genome sequencing.

Blood 2020 07;136(5):572-584

Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an uncommon B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that is incurable with standard therapies. The genetic drivers of this cancer have not been firmly established, and the features that contribute to differences in clinical course remain limited. To extend our understanding of the biological pathways involved in this malignancy, we performed a large-scale genomic analysis of MCL using data from 51 exomes and 34 genomes alongside previously published exome cohorts. To confirm our findings, we resequenced the genes identified in the exome cohort in 191 MCL tumors, each having clinical follow-up data. We confirmed the prognostic association of TP53 and NOTCH1 mutations. Our sequencing revealed novel recurrent noncoding mutations surrounding a single exon of the HNRNPH1gene. In RNA-seq data from 103 of these cases, MCL tumors with these mutations had a distinct imbalance of HNRNPH1 isoforms. This altered splicing of HNRNPH1 was associated with inferior outcomes in MCL and showed a significant increase in protein expression by immunohistochemistry. We describe a functional role for these recurrent noncoding mutations in disrupting an autoregulatory feedback mechanism, thereby deregulating HNRNPH1 protein expression. Taken together, these data strongly imply a role for aberrant regulation of messenger RNA processing in MCL pathobiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019002385DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7440974PMC
July 2020

TMEM30A loss-of-function mutations drive lymphomagenesis and confer therapeutically exploitable vulnerability in B-cell lymphoma.

Nat Med 2020 04 24;26(4):577-588. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, British Columbia Cancer, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Transmembrane protein 30A (TMEM30A) maintains the asymmetric distribution of phosphatidylserine, an integral component of the cell membrane and 'eat-me' signal recognized by macrophages. Integrative genomic and transcriptomic analysis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) from the British Columbia population-based registry uncovered recurrent biallelic TMEM30A loss-of-function mutations, which were associated with a favorable outcome and uniquely observed in DLBCL. Using TMEM30A-knockout systems, increased accumulation of chemotherapy drugs was observed in TMEM30A-knockout cell lines and TMEM30A-mutated primary cells, explaining the improved treatment outcome. Furthermore, we found increased tumor-associated macrophages and an enhanced effect of anti-CD47 blockade limiting tumor growth in TMEM30A-knockout models. By contrast, we show that TMEM30A loss-of-function increases B-cell signaling following antigen stimulation-a mechanism conferring selective advantage during B-cell lymphoma development. Our data highlight a multifaceted role for TMEM30A in B-cell lymphomagenesis, and characterize intrinsic and extrinsic vulnerabilities of cancer cells that can be therapeutically exploited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0757-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8480332PMC
April 2020

Molecular features of a large cohort of primary central nervous system lymphoma using tissue microarray.

Blood Adv 2019 12;3(23):3953-3961

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the distribution and prognostic impact of a broad range of molecular attributes in a large cohort of immunocompetent patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) by using tissue microarray. Patients diagnosed with PCNSL were initially identified in the BC Cancer Lymphoid Cancer clinical and pathology databases. Tissue microarrays were constructed by using archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded diagnostic biopsy tissue. Immunohistochemistry and fluorescent in situ hybridization studies were performed. A total of 115 patients with PCNSL with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) histology were identified. The majority of cases (≥75%) had a non-germinal center B-cell phenotype according to immunohistochemistry algorithms, but cell of origin did not affect progression-free or overall survival. MYC (40%), BCL2 (75%), and programmed death-ligand 1 (29%) protein expression were common, but their corresponding gene rearrangements were rare (≤1% each), suggesting that alternate mechanisms were driving expression. There were no dual rearrangements involving MYC and BCL2. Only 22% of cases had membranous expression of major histocompatibility complex class II, suggesting a mechanism for escape from immune surveillance. Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNA was positive in 1 immunocompetent patient. BCL6 protein expression (77%) and BCL6 rearrangements (31%) were frequent; the latter was the only factor associated with a poor prognosis in the overall cohort and in the subgroup of 52 patients treated with high-dose methotrexate-based regimens. This large population-based study shows that prominent molecular features of PCNSL are unique and different from those of systemic DLBCL. These results may better inform drug development in PCNSL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000989DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6963243PMC
December 2019

Expansion of PD1-positive T Cells in Nodal Marginal Zone Lymphoma: A Potential Diagnostic Pitfall.

Am J Surg Pathol 2020 05;44(5):657-664

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.

The diagnosis of nodal marginal zone lymphoma (NMZL) can be challenging, with the differential diagnosis including other low-grade B-cell lymphomas, reactive hyperplasia, and even some cases of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). PTCL may have a perifollicular growth pattern mimicking NMZL. We and others have noted an atypical distribution of T-follicular helper (TFH) cells in some cases of NMZL. This study was prompted by the diagnosis of NMZL in several cases in which a marked increase of TFH cells, as determined by staining for programmed death-1 (PD1), had prompted suspicion for a diagnosis of PTCL. We analyzed PD1 staining in 48 cases of NMZL to characterize the extent and pattern of the PD1-positive infiltrate. Three main patterns of PD1 staining were identified: follicular pattern (peripheral, n=16; central, n=9; mixed, n=3), diffuse pattern (n=4), and a reduced or normal staining pattern in residual follicles (n=16). A comprehensive analysis of other TFH markers was undertaken in 14 cases with a high content of PD1-positive cells that were confirmed as B-cell lymphoma by clonality analysis. We describe in detail 5 of these cases in which PTCL was an initial consideration. This study illuminates the diverse immunohistochemical patterns encountered in NMZL and highlights a diagnostic pitfall important for diagnostic accuracy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000001414DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8189156PMC
May 2020

Single Cell Phenotypic Profiling of 27 DLBCL Cases Reveals Marked Intertumoral and Intratumoral Heterogeneity.

Cytometry A 2020 06 22;97(6):620-629. Epub 2019 Oct 22.

Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common histologic subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is notorious for its clinical heterogeneity. Patient outcomes can be predicted by cell-of-origin (COO) classification, demonstrating that the underlying transcriptional signature of malignant B-cells informs biological behavior in the context of standard combination chemotherapy regimens. In the current study, we used mass cytometry (CyTOF) to examine tumor phenotypes at the protein level with single cell resolution in a collection of 27 diagnostic DLBCL biopsy specimens from treatment naïve patients. We found that malignant B-cells from each patient occupied unique regions in 37-dimensional phenotypic space with no apparent clustering of samples into discrete subtypes. Interestingly, variable MHC class II expression was found to be the greatest contributor to phenotypic diversity. Within individual tumors, a subset of cases showed multiple phenotypic subpopulations, and in one case, we were able to demonstrate direct correspondence between protein-level phenotypic subsets and DNA mutation-defined subclones. In summary, CyTOF analysis can resolve both intertumoral and intratumoral heterogeneity among primary samples and reveals that each case of DLBCL is unique and may be comprised of multiple, genetically distinct subclones. © 2019 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cyto.a.23919DOI Listing
June 2020

The whole-genome landscape of Burkitt lymphoma subtypes.

Blood 2019 11;134(19):1598-1607

Department of Immunology and.

Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is an aggressive, MYC-driven lymphoma comprising 3 distinct clinical subtypes: sporadic BLs that occur worldwide, endemic BLs that occur predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa, and immunodeficiency-associated BLs that occur primarily in the setting of HIV. In this study, we comprehensively delineated the genomic basis of BL through whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of 101 tumors representing all 3 subtypes of BL to identify 72 driver genes. These data were additionally informed by CRISPR screens in BL cell lines to functionally annotate the role of oncogenic drivers. Nearly every driver gene was found to have both coding and non-coding mutations, highlighting the importance of WGS for identifying driver events. Our data implicate coding and non-coding mutations in IGLL5, BACH2, SIN3A, and DNMT1. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection was associated with higher mutation load, with type 1 EBV showing a higher mutational burden than type 2 EBV. Although sporadic and immunodeficiency-associated BLs had similar genetic profiles, endemic BLs manifested more frequent mutations in BCL7A and BCL6 and fewer genetic alterations in DNMT1, SNTB2, and CTCF. Silencing mutations in ID3 were a common feature of all 3 subtypes of BL. In vitro, mass spectrometry-based proteomics demonstrated that the ID3 protein binds primarily to TCF3 and TCF4. In vivo knockout of ID3 potentiated the effects of MYC, leading to rapid tumorigenesis and tumor phenotypes consistent with those observed in the human disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019001880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6871305PMC
November 2019

Prognostic Significance of Rearrangement and Translocation Partner in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma: A Study by the Lunenburg Lymphoma Biomarker Consortium.

J Clin Oncol 2019 12 9;37(35):3359-3368. Epub 2019 Sep 9.

BC Cancer, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Purpose: rearrangement (-R) occurs in approximately 10% of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) and has been associated with poor prognosis in many studies. The impact of R on prognosis may be influenced by the partner gene (immunoglobulin [IG] or a non-IG gene). We evaluated a large cohort of patients through the Lunenburg Lymphoma Biomarker Consortium to validate the prognostic significance of (single-, double-, and triple-hit status) in DLBCL within the context of the partner gene.

Methods: The study cohort included patients with histologically confirmed DLBCL morphology derived from large prospective trials and patient registries in Europe and North America who were uniformly treated with rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone therapy or the like. Fluorescence in situ hybridization for the , , , and IG heavy and light chain loci was used, and results were correlated with clinical outcomes.

Results: A total of 5,117 patients were identified of whom 2,383 (47%) had biopsy material available to assess for -R. -R was present in 264 (11%) of 2,383 patients and was associated with a significantly shorter progression-free and overall survival, with a strong time-dependent effect within the first 24 months after diagnosis. The adverse prognostic impact of R was only evident in patients with a concurrent rearrangement of and/or and an IG partner (hazard ratio, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.6 to 3.6; < .001).

Conclusion: The negative prognostic impact of -R in DLBCL is largely observed in patients with double hit/triple-hit disease in which is translocated to an IG partner, and this effect is restricted to the first 2 years after diagnosis. Our results suggest that diagnostic strategies should be adopted to identify this high-risk cohort, and risk-adjusted therapeutic approaches should be refined further.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.00743DOI Listing
December 2019

Integrative genomic analysis identifies key pathogenic mechanisms in primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma.

Blood 2019 09 10;134(10):802-813. Epub 2019 Jul 10.

British Columbia Cancer, Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBL) represents a clinically and pathologically distinct subtype of large B-cell lymphomas. Furthermore, molecular studies, including global gene expression profiling, have provided evidence that PMBL is more closely related to classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). Although targeted sequencing studies have revealed a number of mutations involved in PMBL pathogenesis, a comprehensive description of disease-associated genetic alterations and perturbed pathways is still lacking. Here, we performed whole-exome sequencing of 95 PMBL tumors to inform on oncogenic driver genes and recurrent copy number alterations. The integration of somatic gene mutations with gene expression signatures provides further insights into genotype-phenotype interrelation in PMBL. We identified highly recurrent oncogenic mutations in the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription and nuclear factor κB pathways, and provide additional evidence of the importance of immune evasion in PMBL ( and ). Our analyses highlight the interferon response factor (IRF) pathway as a putative novel hallmark with frequent alterations in multiple pathway members ( and ). In addition, our integrative analysis illustrates the importance of and mutations driving oncogenic signaling. The identified driver genes were significantly more frequently mutated in PMBL compared with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, whereas only a limited number of genes were significantly different between PMBL and cHL, emphasizing the close relation between these entities. Our study, performed on a large cohort of PMBL, highlights the importance of distinctive genetic alterations for disease taxonomy with relevance for diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019001126DOI Listing
September 2019

Targetable genetic alterations of () drive immunoglobulin expression in diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

Sci Transl Med 2019 06;11(497)

Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

The activated B cell (ABC-like) subtype of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is characterized by chronic activation of signaling initiated by immunoglobulin μ (IgM). By analyzing the DNA copy number profiles of 1000 DLBCL tumors, we identified gains of 18q21.2 as the most frequent genetic alteration in ABC-like DLBCL. Using integrative analysis of matched gene expression profiling data, we found that the () transcription factor gene was the target of these alterations. Overexpression of in ABC-like DLBCL cell lines led to its occupancy on immunoglobulin () and gene enhancers and increased expression of these genes at the transcript and protein levels. Inhibition of TCF4 activity with dominant-negative constructs was synthetically lethal to ABC-like DLBCL cell lines harboring DNA copy gains, highlighting these gains as an attractive potential therapeutic target. Furthermore, the gene was one of the top BRD4-regulated genes in DLBCL cell lines. BET proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC) ARV771 extinguished TCF4, MYC, and IgM expression and killed ABC-like DLBCL cells in vitro. In DLBCL xenograft models, ARV771 treatment reduced tumor growth and prolonged survival. This work highlights a genetic mechanism for promoting immunoglobulin signaling in ABC-like DLBCL and provides a functional rationale for the use of BET inhibitors in this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aav5599DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6724184PMC
June 2019

Follicular lymphoma patients with KIR2DL2 and KIR3DL1 and their ligands (HLA-C1 and HLA-Bw4) show improved outcome when receiving rituximab.

J Immunother Cancer 2019 03 12;7(1):70. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

Background: The ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group evaluated rituximab treatment schedules for patients with newly-diagnosed low-tumor-burden follicular-lymphoma (FL). All patients received 4-weekly rituximab treatments as induction therapy. Clinically-responding patients were randomized to receive rituximab every 13 weeks ("maintenance") vs. no additional rituximab until progression ("non-maintenance"). Based on "time-to-rituximab-failure (TTRF)", the study-committee reported there was no overall-benefit for maintenance rituximab in this setting. Tumor-reactive mAbs, like rituximab, trigger natural killer (NK) cells. NK-cell responses are regulated, in part, by interactions between killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) on NK cells and their interactions with KIR-ligands. In a separate study of children with neuroblastoma treated with a different mAb, we found certain KIR/KIR-ligand genotypes associated with improved outcome. Here, we assessed whether a subset of FL patients show improved outcome from the maintenance rituximab based on these same KIR/KIR-ligand genotypes.

Methods: Genotypes for KIR/KIR-ligand were determined and assessed for associations with outcome [duration of response, TTRF and % tumor shrinkage] as a post-hoc analysis of this phase III trial. Our primary objective was to assess specific KIR/KIR-ligand genotype associations, followed by separate prespecified KIR/KIR-ligand genotype associations in follow-up analyses. Statistical analyses for association of genotype with clinical outcome included: Log-rank tests and Cox proportional hazards regression models to assess duration of response and TTRF; analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for assessment of % tumor shrinkage.

Results: We found that patients inheriting KIR2DL2 and its ligand (HLA-C1) along with KIR3DL1 and its ligand (HLA-Bw4) had improved outcome over patients without this genotype. In addition, patients with KIR2DL2 and HLA-C1 along with KIR3DL1 and HLA-Bw4 also showed improved duration of response and tumor shrinkage if they received maintenance, while patients without this genotype showed no such improvement when receiving maintenance.

Conclusions: The data presented here indicate that a subset of FL patients, identified by certain KIRs/KIR-ligands, have improved outcome and may benefit from additional rituximab treatment. Taken together, this suggests that the efficacy of tumor-reactive mAb treatment for some patients is influenced by KIRs on NK cells. However, prior to considering these genotypes in a clinically-actionable manner, these findings need independent validation in other studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40425-019-0538-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6419437PMC
March 2019

Genetic drivers of oncogenic pathways in molecular subgroups of peripheral T-cell lymphoma.

Blood 2019 04 19;133(15):1664-1676. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

Department of Pathology, Kurume University School of Medicine, Fukuoka, Japan.

Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) is a group of complex clinicopathological entities, often associated with an aggressive clinical course. Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) and PTCL-not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS) are the 2 most frequent categories, accounting for >50% of PTCLs. Gene expression profiling (GEP) defined molecular signatures for AITL and delineated biological and prognostic subgroups within PTCL-NOS (PTCL-GATA3 and PTCL-TBX21). Genomic copy number (CN) analysis and targeted sequencing of these molecular subgroups revealed unique CN abnormalities (CNAs) and oncogenic pathways, indicating distinct oncogenic evolution. PTCL-GATA3 exhibited greater genomic complexity that was characterized by frequent loss or mutation of tumor suppressor genes targeting the - axis and -PI3K pathways. Co-occurring gains/amplifications of and occurred in PTCL-GATA3. Several CNAs, in particular loss of exhibited prognostic significance in PTCL-NOS as a single entity and in the PTCL-GATA3 subgroup. The PTCL-TBX21 subgroup had fewer CNAs, primarily targeting cytotoxic effector genes, and was enriched in mutations of genes regulating DNA methylation. CNAs affecting metabolic processes regulating RNA/protein degradation and T-cell receptor signaling were common in both subgroups. AITL showed lower genomic complexity compared with other PTCL entities, with frequent co-occurring gains of chromosome 5 (chr5) and chr21 that were significantly associated with mutation. CN losses were enriched in genes regulating PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling in cases without mutation. Overall, we demonstrated that novel GEP-defined PTCL subgroups likely evolve by distinct genetic pathways and provided biological rationale for therapies that may be investigated in future clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2018-09-872549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6460420PMC
April 2019

Molecular and Genetic Characterization of MHC Deficiency Identifies EZH2 as Therapeutic Target for Enhancing Immune Recognition.

Cancer Discov 2019 04 31;9(4):546-563. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, British Columbia Cancer, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

We performed a genomic, transcriptomic, and immunophenotypic study of 347 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) to uncover the molecular basis underlying acquired deficiency of MHC expression. Low MHC-II expression defines tumors originating from the centroblast-rich dark zone of the germinal center (GC) that was associated with inferior prognosis. MHC-II-deficient tumors were characterized by somatically acquired gene mutations reducing MHC-II expression and a lower amount of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. In particular, we demonstrated a strong enrichment of mutations in both MHC-I- and MHC-II-negative primary lymphomas, and observed reduced MHC expression and T-cell infiltrates in murine lymphoma models expressing mutant . Of clinical relevance, EZH2 inhibitors significantly restored MHC expression in -mutated human DLBCL cell lines. Hence, our findings suggest a tumor progression model of acquired immune escape in GC-derived lymphomas and pave the way for development of complementary therapeutic approaches combining immunotherapy with epigenetic reprogramming. SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate how MHC-deficient lymphoid tumors evolve in a cell-of-origin-specific context. Specifically, mutations were identified as a genetic mechanism underlying acquired MHC deficiency. The paradigmatic restoration of MHC expression by EZH2 inhibitors provides the rationale for synergistic therapies combining immunotherapies with epigenetic reprogramming to enhance tumor recognition and elimination...
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-18-1090DOI Listing
April 2019

Double-Hit Gene Expression Signature Defines a Distinct Subgroup of Germinal Center B-Cell-Like Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma.

J Clin Oncol 2019 01 3;37(3):190-201. Epub 2018 Dec 3.

1 British Columbia Cancer Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Purpose: High-grade B-cell lymphoma with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements (HGBL-DH/TH) has a poor outcome after standard chemoimmunotherapy. We sought to understand the biologic underpinnings of HGBL-DH/TH with BCL2 rearrangements (HGBL-DH/TH- BCL2) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) morphology through examination of gene expression.

Patients And Methods: We analyzed RNA sequencing data from 157 de novo germinal center B-cell-like (GCB)-DLBCLs, including 25 with HGBL-DH/TH- BCL2, to define a gene expression signature that distinguishes HGBL-DH/TH- BCL2 from other GCB-DLBCLs. To assess the genetic, molecular, and phenotypic features associated with this signature, we analyzed targeted resequencing, whole-exome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and immunohistochemistry data.

Results: We developed a 104-gene double-hit signature (DHITsig) that assigned 27% of GCB-DLBCLs to the DHITsig-positive group, with only one half harboring MYC and BCL2 rearrangements (HGBL-DH/TH- BCL2). DHITsig-positive patients had inferior outcomes after rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone immunochemotherapy compared with DHITsig-negative patients (5-year time to progression rate, 57% and 81%, respectively; P < .001), irrespective of HGBL-DH/TH- BCL2 status. The prognostic value of DHITsig was confirmed in an independent validation cohort. DHITsig-positive tumors are biologically characterized by a putative non-light zone germinal center cell of origin and a distinct mutational landscape that comprises genes associated with chromatin modification. A new NanoString assay (DLBCL90) recapitulated the prognostic significance and RNA sequencing assignments. Validating the association with HGBL-DH/TH- BCL2, 11 of 25 DHITsig-positive-transformed follicular lymphomas were classified as HGBL-DH/TH- BCL2 compared with zero of 50 in the DHITsig-negative group. Furthermore, the DHITsig was shared with the majority of B-cell lymphomas with high-grade morphology tested.

Conclusion: We have defined a clinically and biologically distinct subgroup of tumors within GCB-DLBCL characterized by a gene expression signature of HGBL-DH/TH- BCL2. This knowledge has been translated into an assay applicable to routinely available biopsy samples, which enables exploration of its utility to guide patient management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.01583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6804880PMC
January 2019

High-resolution architecture and partner genes of rearrangements in lymphoma with DLBCL morphology.

Blood Adv 2018 10;2(20):2755-2765

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Genomic rearrangements in the locus occur in ∼12% of lymphomas with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) morphology and are associated with inferior outcome. Previous studies exploring rearrangements have primarily used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assays to characterize break-apart status but have rarely examined breakpoint location, and in some cases have not examined partner identity. We performed targeted sequencing of , , , and the immunoglobulin () loci in 112 tumors with DLBCL morphology harboring rearrangement. We characterized the location of the rearrangement at base pair resolution and identified the partner in 88 cases. We observed a cluster of breakpoints upstream of the coding region and in intron 1 (the "genic cluster"). Genic cluster rearrangements were enriched for translocations involving (80%), whereas nongenic rearrangements occurred mostly downstream of the gene with a variety of partners, including and Other recurrent partners included , , and , which has not previously been described as a partner. We compared 2 commercially available FISH break-apart assays for the locus and observed discordant results in 32% of cases examined, including some with - and - rearrangements. In cases of high-grade B-cell lymphoma with and and/or rearrangement (HGBL-DH), so-called "double-hit" lymphomas, the majority of rearrangements had non- partners (65%), with breakpoints outside the genic cluster (72%). In patients with de novo HGBL-DH of DLBCL morphology, - rearrangements showed a trend toward inferior time to progression and overall survival compared with -non- rearrangements. Our data reveal clinically relevant architecture of rearrangements in lymphomas with DLBCL morphology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018023572DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6199666PMC
October 2018

Genome-wide discovery of somatic regulatory variants in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Nat Commun 2018 10 1;9(1):4001. Epub 2018 Oct 1.

Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive cancer originating from mature B-cells. Prognosis is strongly associated with molecular subgroup, although the driver mutations that distinguish the two main subgroups remain poorly defined. Through an integrative analysis of whole genomes, exomes, and transcriptomes, we have uncovered genes and non-coding loci that are commonly mutated in DLBCL. Our analysis has identified novel cis-regulatory sites, and implicates recurrent mutations in the 3' UTR of NFKBIZ as a novel mechanism of oncogene deregulation and NF-κB pathway activation in the activated B-cell (ABC) subgroup. Small amplifications associated with over-expression of FCGR2B (the Fcγ receptor protein IIB), primarily in the germinal centre B-cell (GCB) subgroup, correlate with poor patient outcomes suggestive of a novel oncogene. These results expand the list of subgroup driver mutations that may facilitate implementation of improved diagnostic assays and could offer new avenues for the development of targeted therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06354-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6167379PMC
October 2018

Molecular classification of primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma using routinely available tissue specimens.

Blood 2018 11 26;132(22):2401-2405. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ.

Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) is recognized as a distinct entity in the World Health Organization classification. Currently, the diagnosis relies on consensus of histopathology, clinical variables, and presentation, giving rise to diagnostic inaccuracy in routine practice. Previous studies have demonstrated that PMBCL can be distinguished from subtypes of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) based on gene expression signatures. However, requirement of fresh-frozen biopsy material has precluded the transfer of gene expression-based assays to the clinic. Here, we developed a robust and accurate molecular classification assay (Lymph3Cx) for the distinction of PMBCL from DLBCL subtypes based on gene expression measurements in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue. A probabilistic model accounting for classification error, comprising 58 gene features, was trained on 68 cases of PMBCL and DLBCL. Performance of the model was subsequently evaluated in an independent validation cohort of 158 cases and showed high agreement of the Lymph3Cx molecular classification with the clinicopathological diagnosis of an expert panel (frank misclassification rate, 3.8%). Furthermore, we demonstrate reproducibility of the assay with 100% concordance of subtype assignments at 2 independent laboratories. Future studies will determine Lymph3Cx's utility for routine diagnostic purposes and therapeutic decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2018-05-851154DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6265647PMC
November 2018
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