Publications by authors named "Wolfram Klapper"

314 Publications

Epstein-Barr virus status of sporadic Burkitt lymphoma is associated with patient age and mutational features.

Br J Haematol 2021 Oct 6. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

Department of Pathology, Hematopathology Section and Lymph Node Registry, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany.

Sporadic Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is the most frequent tumour of children and adolescents but a rare subtype of lymphomas in adults. To date most molecular data have been obtained from lymphomas arising in the young. Recently, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) positive and negative BL in young patients was shown to differ in molecular features. In the present study, we present a large age-overarching cohort of sporadic BL (n = 162) analysed by immunohistochemistry, translocations of MYC proto-oncogene, basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor (MYC), B-cell leukaemia/lymphoma 2 (BCL2) and B-cell leukaemia/lymphoma 6 (BCL6) and by targeted sequencing. We illustrate an age-associated inter-tumoral molecular heterogeneity in this disease. Mutations affecting inhibitor of DNA binding 3, HLH protein (ID3), transcription factor 3 (TCF3) and cyclin D3 (CCND3), which are highly recurrent in paediatric BL, and expression of sex determining region Y-box transcription factor 11 (SOX11) declined with patient age at diagnosis (P = 0·0204 and P = 0·0197 respectively). In contrast, EBV was more frequently detected in adult patients (P = 0·0262). Irrespective of age, EBV-positive sporadic BL showed significantly less frequent mutations in ID3/TCF3/CCND3 (P = 0·0088) but more often mutations of G protein subunit alpha 13 (GNA13; P = 0·0368) and forkhead box O1 (FOXO1; P = 0·0044) compared to EBV-negative tumours. Our findings suggest that among sporadic BL an EBV-positive subgroup of lymphomas increases with patient age that shows distinct pathogenic features reminiscent of EBV-positive endemic BL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17874DOI Listing
October 2021

Reverted exhaustion phenotype of circulating lymphocytes as immune correlate of anti-PD1 first-line treatment in Hodgkin lymphoma.

Leukemia 2021 Sep 28. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital of Cologne, Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

While classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is highly susceptible to anti-programmed death protein 1 (PD1) antibodies, the exact modes of action remain controversial. To elucidate the circulating lymphocyte phenotype and systemic effects during anti-PD1 1st-line HL treatment we applied multicolor flow cytometry, FluoroSpot and NanoString to sequential samples of 81 HL patients from the NIVAHL trial (NCT03004833) compared to healthy controls. HL patients showed a decreased CD4 T-cell fraction, a higher percentage of effector-memory T cells and higher expression of activation markers at baseline. Strikingly, and in contrast to solid cancers, expression for 10 out of 16 analyzed co-inhibitory molecules on T cells (e.g., PD1, LAG3, Tim3) was higher in HL. Overall, we observed a sustained decrease of the exhausted T-cell phenotype during anti-PD1 treatment. FluoroSpot of 42.3% of patients revealed T-cell responses against ≥1 of five analyzed tumor-associated antigens. Importantly, these responses were more frequently observed in samples from patients with early excellent response to anti-PD1 therapy. In summary, an initially exhausted lymphocyte phenotype rapidly reverted during anti-PD1 1st-line treatment. The frequently observed IFN-y responses against shared tumor-associated antigens indicate T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity and could represent an important resource for immune monitoring and cellular therapy of HL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01421-zDOI Listing
September 2021

Super-enhancer-based identification of a BATF3/IL-2R-module reveals vulnerabilities in anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

Nat Commun 2021 09 22;12(1):5577. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Division of Haematopathology, European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), an aggressive CD30-positive T-cell lymphoma, comprises systemic anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive, and ALK-negative, primary cutaneous and breast implant-associated ALCL. Prognosis of some ALCL subgroups is still unsatisfactory, and already in second line effective treatment options are lacking. To identify genes defining ALCL cell state and dependencies, we here characterize super-enhancer regions by genome-wide H3K27ac ChIP-seq. In addition to known ALCL key regulators, the AP-1-member BATF3 and IL-2 receptor (IL2R)-components are among the top hits. Specific and high-level IL2R expression in ALCL correlates with BATF3 expression. Confirming a regulatory link, IL-2R-expression decreases following BATF3 knockout, and BATF3 is recruited to IL2R regulatory regions. Functionally, IL-2, IL-15 and Neo-2/15, a hyper-stable IL-2/IL-15 mimic, accelerate ALCL growth and activate STAT1, STAT5 and ERK1/2. In line, strong IL-2Rα-expression in ALCL patients is linked to more aggressive clinical presentation. Finally, an IL-2Rα-targeting antibody-drug conjugate efficiently kills ALCL cells in vitro and in vivo. Our results highlight the importance of the BATF3/IL-2R-module for ALCL biology and identify IL-2Rα-targeting as a promising treatment strategy for ALCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25379-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8458384PMC
September 2021

9p24.1 alterations and programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 expression in early stage unfavourable classical Hodgkin lymphoma: an analysis from the German Hodgkin Study Group NIVAHL trial.

Br J Haematol 2021 Sep 14. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

Institute of Pathology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

High programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) protein expression and copy number alterations (CNAs) of the corresponding genomic locus 9p24.1 in Hodgkin- and Reed-Sternberg cells (HRSC) have been shown to be associated with favourable response to anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibition in relapsed/refractory (r/r) classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). In the present study, we investigated baseline 9p24.1 status as well as PD-L1 and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and II protein expression in 82 biopsies from patients with early stage unfavourable cHL treated with anti-PD-1-based first-line treatment in the German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG) NIVAHL trial (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03004833). All evaluated specimens showed 9p24.1 CNA in HRSC to some extent, but with high intratumoral heterogeneity and an overall smaller range of alterations than reported in advanced-stage or r/r cHL. All but two cases (97%) showed PD-L1 expression by the tumour cells in variable amounts. While MHC-I was rarely expressed in >50% of HRSC, MHC-II expression in >50% of HRSC was found more frequently. No obvious impact of 9p24.1 CNA or PD-L1 and MHC-I/II expression on early response to the highly effective anti-PD-1-based NIVAHL first-line treatment was observed. Further studies evaluating an expanded panel of potential biomarkers are needed to optimally stratify anti-PD-1 first-line cHL treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17793DOI Listing
September 2021

Aggressive B-cell lymphoma cases with 11q aberration patterns indicate a spectrum beyond Burkitt-like lymphoma.

Blood Adv 2021 Sep 9. Epub 2021 Sep 9.

University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany.

The recent characterization of a group of non-MYC rearranged aggressive B-cell-lymphomas, resembling Burkitt lymphoma (BL), characteristically harboring a telomeric 11q-loss or combined 11q-proximal gains/loss-pattern has led to the introduction of the provisional entity of Burkitt-like lymphoma with 11q aberration (BLL-11q). Prompted by the discovery of a telomeric 11q-loss in an HIV-positive high-grade B-cell lymphoma patient, we investigated an extended cohort of aggressive B-cell-lymphomas, enriched for cases with histopathological features intermediate between DLBCL and BL including double- and triple-hit lymphomas (n = 47), for 11q-loss/combined 11q-proximal gains/loss-pattern by fluorescence-in-situ-hybridization. We provide first evidence that 11q-aberrations can be found in both BLL in the context of an underlying HIV-infection as well as in high-grade B-cell-lymphomas (HGBL) with MYC, BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements. We therefore propose, that the clinicopathological spectrum of malignancies carrying this aberration may be broader than previously assumed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004635DOI Listing
September 2021

Manuscript Title: Analysis of tripartite motif (TRIM) family gene expression in prostate cancer bone metastases.

Carcinogenesis 2021 Sep 6. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany.

Tripartite motif (TRIM) family proteins are post-translational protein modifiers with E3-ubiquitin ligase activity, thereby involved in various biological processes. The molecular mechanisms driving prostate cancer (PCa) bone metastasis (BM) are incompletely understood, and targetable genetic alterations are lacking in the majority of cases. Therefore, we aimed to explore the expression and potential functional relevance of 71 TRIM members in bone metastatic PCa. We performed transcriptome analysis of all human TRIM family members and 770 cancer-related genes in 29 localized PCa and 30 PCa BM using Nanostring. KEGG, STRING and Ubibrowser were used for further bioinformatic gene correlation and pathway enrichment analyses. Compared to localized tumors, six TRIMs are under-expressed while nine TRIMs are over-expressed in BM. The differentially expressed TRIM proteins are linked to TNF-, TGFβ-, PI3K/AKT- and HIF-1-signaling, and to features such as proteoglycans, platelet activation, adhesion and ECM-interaction based on correlation to cancer-related genes. The identification of TRIM-specific E3-ligase-substrates revealed insight into functional connections to oncogenes, tumor suppressors and cancer-related pathways including androgen receptor- and TGFβ signaling, cell cycle regulation and splicing. In summary, this is the first study that comprehensively and systematically characterizes the expression of all TRIM members in PCa BM. Our results describe post-translational protein modification as an important regulatory mechanism of oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and pathway molecules in PCa progression. Therefore, this study may provide evidence for novel therapeutic targets, in particular for the treatment or prevention of BM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgab083DOI Listing
September 2021

Molecular and functional profiling identifies therapeutically targetable vulnerabilities in plasmablastic lymphoma.

Nat Commun 2021 08 31;12(1):5183. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

Division of Hematophathology, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany.

Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) represents a rare and aggressive lymphoma subtype frequently associated with immunosuppression. Clinically, patients with PBL are characterized by poor outcome. The current understanding of the molecular pathogenesis is limited. A hallmark of PBL represents its plasmacytic differentiation with loss of B-cell markers and, in 60% of cases, its association with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Roughly 50% of PBLs harbor a MYC translocation. Here, we provide a comprehensive integrated genomic analysis using whole exome sequencing (WES) and genome-wide copy number determination in a large cohort of 96 primary PBL samples. We identify alterations activating the RAS-RAF, JAK-STAT, and NOTCH pathways as well as frequent high-level amplifications in MCL1 and IRF4. The functional impact of these alterations is assessed using an unbiased shRNA screen in a PBL model. These analyses identify the IRF4 and JAK-STAT pathways as promising molecular targets to improve outcome of PBL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25405-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8408158PMC
August 2021

Long-term survival of patients with mantle cell lymphoma after autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in first remission: a post-hoc analysis of an open-label, multicentre, randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Sep;8(9):e648-e657

Department of Medicine III, University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany; Institute of Medical Information Processing, Biometry and Epidemiology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Background: Autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) in first remission is the current standard treatment in fit patients with mantle cell lymphoma. In this long-term follow-up study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of autologous HSCT versus interferon alfa maintenance after chemotherapy without or with rituximab in patients with primary advanced-stage mantle cell lymphoma.

Methods: We did a post-hoc, long-term analysis of an open-label, multicentre, randomised, phase 3 trial done in 121 participating hospitals or practices across six European countries. Patients who were aged 18-65 years with previously untreated stage III-IV mantle cell lymphoma and an ECOG performance score of 0-2 were eligible for participation. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either myeloablative radiochemotherapy (fractionated total body irradiation with 12 Gy/day 6-4 days before autologous HSCT and cyclophosphamide 60 mg/kg per day intravenously 3-2 days before autologous HSCT) followed by autologous HSCT (the autologous HSCT group) or interferon alfa maintenance (the interferon alfa maintenance group; 6 × 10 IU three times a week subcutaneously until progression) after completion of CHOP-like induction therapy (cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m intravenously on day 1, doxorubicin 50 mg/m intravenously on day 1, vincristine 1·4 mg/m [maximum 2 mg] intravenously on day 1, and prednisone 100 mg/m orally on days 1-5; repeated every 21 days for up to 6 cycles) without or with rituximab (375 mg/m intravenously on day 0 or 1 of each cycle; R-CHOP). The primary outcome was progression-free survival from end of induction until progression or death among patients who had a remission and the secondary outcome was overall survival from the end of induction until death from any cause. We did comparisons of progression-free survival and overall survival according to the intention-to-treat principle between both groups among responding patients and explored efficacy in subgroups according to induction treatment without or with rituximab. Hazard ratios (HRs) were adjusted for the mantle cell lymphoma international prognostic index (MIPI) numerical score, and in the total group also for rituximab use (adjusted HR [aHR]). This trial was started before preregistration was implemented and is therefore not registered, recruitment is closed, and this is the final evaluation.

Findings: Between Sept 30, 1996, and July 1, 2004, 269 patients were randomly assigned to receive either autologous HSCT or interferon alfa maintenance therapy. The median follow-up was 14 years (IQR 10-16), with the intention-to-treat population consisting of 174 patients (93 [53%] in the autologous HSCT group and 81 [47%] in the interferon alfa maintenance group) who responded to induction therapy. The median age was 55 years (IQR 47-60), and R-CHOP was used in 68 (39%) of 174 patients. The median progression-free survival was 3·3 years (95% CI 2·5-4·3) in the autologous HSCT group versus 1·5 years (1·2-2·0) in the interferon alfa maintenance group (log-rank p<0·0001; aHR 0·50 [95% CI 0·36-0·69]). The median overall survival was 7·5 years (95% CI 5·7-12·0) in the autologous HSCT group versus 4·8 years (4·0-6·6) in the interferon alfa maintenance group (log-rank p=0·019; aHR 0·66 [95% CI 0·46-0·95]). For patients treated without rituximab, the progression-free survival adjusted HR for autologous HSCT versus interferon alfa was 0·40 (0·26-0·61), in comparison to 0·72 (0·42-1·24) for patients treated with rituximab. For overall survival, the adjusted hazard ratio for HSCT versus interferon alfa was 0·52 (0·33-0·82) without rituximab and 1·05 (0·55-1·99) for patients who received rituximab.

Interpretation: Our results confirm the long-term efficacy of autologous HSCT to treat mantle cell lymphoma established in the pre-rituximab era. The suggested reduced efficacy after immunochemotherapy supports the need for its re-evaluation now that antibody maintenance, high-dose cytarabine, and targeted treatments have changed the standard of care for patients with mantle cell lymphoma.

Funding: Deutsche Krebshilfe, the European Community, and the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Kompetenznetz Maligne Lymphome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00195-2DOI Listing
September 2021

Validation of the EuroClonality-NGS DNA capture panel as an integrated genomic tool for lymphoproliferative disorders.

Blood Adv 2021 08;5(16):3188-3198

Laboratory of Onco-Hematology, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, University de Paris, Paris, France.

Current diagnostic standards for lymphoproliferative disorders include multiple tests for detection of clonal immunoglobulin (IG) and/or T-cell receptor (TCR) rearrangements, translocations, copy-number alterations (CNAs), and somatic mutations. The EuroClonality-NGS DNA Capture (EuroClonality-NDC) assay was designed as an integrated tool to characterize these alterations by capturing IGH switch regions along with variable, diversity, and joining genes of all IG and TCR loci in addition to clinically relevant genes for CNA and mutation analysis. Diagnostic performance against standard-of-care clinical testing was assessed in a cohort of 280 B- and T-cell malignancies from 10 European laboratories, including 88 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples and 21 reactive lesions. DNA samples were subjected to the EuroClonality-NDC protocol in 7 EuroClonality-NGS laboratories and analyzed using a bespoke bioinformatic pipeline. The EuroClonality-NDC assay detected B-cell clonality in 191 (97%) of 197 B-cell malignancies and T-cell clonality in 71 (97%) of 73 T-cell malignancies. Limit of detection (LOD) for IG/TCR rearrangements was established at 5% using cell line blends. Chromosomal translocations were detected in 145 (95%) of 152 cases known to be positive. CNAs were validated for immunogenetic and oncogenetic regions, highlighting their novel role in confirming clonality in somatically hypermutated cases. Single-nucleotide variant LOD was determined as 4% allele frequency, and an orthogonal validation using 32 samples resulted in 98% concordance. The EuroClonality-NDC assay is a robust tool providing a single end-to-end workflow for simultaneous detection of B- and T-cell clonality, translocations, CNAs, and sequence variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020004056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8405189PMC
August 2021

Histopathological growth patterns in patients with advanced nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma treated within the randomized HD18 study: a report from the German Hodgkin Study Group.

Br J Haematol 2021 Aug 15. Epub 2021 Aug 15.

Dr. Senckenberg Institute of Pathology, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

We retrospectively investigated histopathological growth patterns in individuals with advanced nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) treated within the randomized HD18 study. In all, 35/60 patients (58%) presented with atypical growth patterns. Patients with atypical growth patterns more often had stage IV disease (P = 0·0354) and splenic involvement (P = 0·0048) than patients with typical growth patterns; a positive positron emission tomography after two cycles of chemotherapy (PET-2) tended to be more common (P = 0·1078). Five-year progression-free survival [hazard ratio (HR) = 0·86; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0·49-1·47] and overall survival (HR = 0·85; 95% CI = 0·49-1·51) did not differ between the groups after study treatment with PET-2-guided escalated BEACOPP (bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone). Thus, advanced NLPHL is often associated with atypical growth patterns but their prognostic impact is compensated by PET-2-guided escalated BEACOPP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17770DOI Listing
August 2021

Molecular features of non-anaplastic peripheral T-cell lymphoma in children and adolescents.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2021 Nov 13;68(11):e29285. Epub 2021 Aug 13.

Department of Pathology, Hematopathology Section and Lymph Node Registry, University of Kiel/University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany.

Non-anaplasticperipheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCL) are rare tumors in children, adolescents, and young adults (CAYA) with poor prognosis and scarce genetic data. We analyzed lymphoma tissue from 36 patients up to 18 years old with PTCL, not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS), hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive T-lymphoproliferative diseases, subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma, and other PTCL types. Twenty-three patients (64%) had at least one genetic variant detectable, including TET2, KMT2C, PIK3D, and DMNT3A. TP53 and RHOA variants, commonly found in adults, were not identified. Eight of 20 (40%) CAYA PTCL-NOS had no detectable mutations. The genetic findings suggest that CAYA PTCL differ from adult cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.29285DOI Listing
November 2021

Prognostic significance of FCGR2B expression for the response of DLBCL patients to rituximab or obinutuzumab treatment.

Blood Adv 2021 08;5(15):2945-2957

School of Cancer Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.

Fc γ receptor IIB (FcγRIIB) is an inhibitory molecule capable of reducing antibody immunotherapy efficacy. We hypothesized its expression could confer resistance in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) treated with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) chemoimmunotherapy, with outcomes varying depending on mAb (rituximab [R]/obinutuzumab [G]) because of different mechanisms of action. We evaluated correlates between FCGR2B messenger RNA and/or FcγRIIB protein expression and outcomes in 3 de novo DLBCL discovery cohorts treated with R plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) reported by Arthur, Schmitz, and Reddy, and R-CHOP/G-CHOP-treated patients in the GOYA trial (NCT01287741). In the discovery cohorts, higher FCGR2B expression was associated with significantly shorter progression-free survival (PFS; Arthur: hazard ratio [HR], 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.19; P = .0360; Schmitz: HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.02-1.26; P = .0243). Similar results were observed in GOYA with R-CHOP (HR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.00-1.58; P = .0455), but not G-CHOP (HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.69-1.20; P = .50). A nonsignificant trend that high FCGR2B expression favored G-CHOP over R-CHOP was observed (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.44-1.02; P = .0622); however, low FCGR2B expression favored R-CHOP (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.00-2.50; P = .0503). In Arthur and GOYA, FCGR2B expression was associated with tumor FcγRIIB expression; correlating with shorter PFS for R-CHOP (HR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.04-4.50; P = .0378), but not G-CHOP (HR, 1.37; 95% CI, 0.66-2.87; P = .3997). This effect was independent of established prognostic biomarkers. High FcγRIIB/FCGR2B expression has prognostic value in R-treated patients with DLBCL and may confer differential responsiveness to R-CHOP/G-CHOP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004770DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8361458PMC
August 2021

Single-nucleotide Fcγ receptor polymorphisms do not impact obinutuzumab/rituximab outcome in patients with lymphoma.

Blood Adv 2021 08;5(15):2935-2944

School of Cancer Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.

Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been shown to influence Fcγ receptor (FcγR) affinity and activity, but their effect on treatment response is unclear. We assessed their importance in the efficacy of obinutuzumab or rituximab combined with chemotherapy in untreated advanced follicular lymphoma (FL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in the GALLIUM (www.clinicaltrials.gov #NCT01332968) and GOYA (#NCT01287741) trials, respectively. Genomic DNA was extracted from patients enrolled in GALLIUM (n = 1202) and GOYA (n = 1418). Key germline SNPs, FCGR2A R131H (rs1801274), FCGR3A F158V (rs396991), and FCGR2B I232T (rs1050501), were genotyped and assessed for their impact on investigator-assessed progression-free survival (PFS). In both cohorts there was no prognostic effect of FCGR2A or FCGR3A. In FL, FCGR2B was associated with favorable PFS in univariate and multivariate analyses comparing I232T with I232I, with a more modest association for rituximab-treated (univariate: hazard ratio [HR], 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54-1.14; P = .21) vs obinutuzumab-treated patients (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.34-0.91; P = .02). Comparing T232T with I232I, an association was found for obinutuzumab (univariate: HR, 2.76; 95% CI, 1.02-7.5; P = .0459). Neither observation retained significance after multiple-test adjustment. FCGR2B was associated with poorer PFS in multivariate analyses comparing T232T with I232I in rituximab- but not obinutuzumab-treated patients with DLBCL (HR, 4.40; 95% CI, 1.71-11.32; P = .002; multiple-test-adjusted P = .03); however, this genotype was rare (n = 13). This study shows that FcγR genotype is not associated with response to rituximab/obinutuzumab plus chemotherapy in treatment-naive patients with advanced FL or DLBCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003985DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8361457PMC
August 2021

SOX11, CD70 and Treg cells configure the tumor immune microenvironment of aggressive mantle cell lymphoma.

Blood 2021 Jun 29. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a mature B-cell neoplasm with a heterogeneous clinical and biological behavior. SOX11 oncogenic expression contributes to the aggressiveness of these tumors by different mechanisms including tumor and stromal cell interactions. However, the precise composition of the immune cell microenvironment of MCL, its possible relationship to SOX11 expression, and how it may contribute to tumor behavior is not well known. Here, we performed an integrative transcriptome analysis of 730 immune-related genes combined with the immune cell phenotype analysis by immunohistochemistry in SOX11+ and SOX11- primary nodal MCL cases and non-neoplastic reactive lymph nodes (RLN). SOX11+ MCL had a significant lower T-cell intratumoral infiltration compared to negative cases. A reduced expression of MHCI/II-like and T-cell costimulation and signaling activation related transcripts was significantly associated with poor clinical outcome. Moreover, we identified CD70 as a SOX11 direct target gene, whose overexpression was induced in SOX11+ but not SOX11- tumor cells by CD40L in vitro. CD70 was overexpressed in primary SOX11+ MCL and it was associated with an immune unbalance of the tumor microenvironment characterized by increased number of effector Treg cell infiltration, higher proliferation, and aggressive clinical course. CD27 was expressed with moderate to strong intensity in 76% of cases. Overall, our results suggest that SOX11 expression in MCL is associated with an immunosuppressive microenvironment characterized by CD70 overexpression in tumor cells, increased Treg cell infiltration and downmodulation of antigen-processing and -presentation and T-cell activation that could promote MCL progression and represent a potential target for tailored therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020010527DOI Listing
June 2021

Rituximab Maintenance Versus Observation After Immunochemotherapy (R-CHOP, R-MCP, and R-FCM) in Untreated Follicular Lymphoma Patients: A Randomized Trial of the Ostdeutsche Studiengruppe Hämatologie und Onkologie and the German Low-Grade Lymphoma Study Group.

Hemasphere 2021 Jul 23;5(7):e600. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Helios Klinikum Erfurt, Germany.

The German study groups, the German Low-Grade Lymphoma Study Group (GLSG) and Ostdeutsche Studiengruppe Hämatologie und Onkologie (OSHO), initiated in 2007 a double randomized trial to investigate efficacy and safety of rituximab maintenance versus observation in remission after randomly assigned induction treatment in the first-line follicular lymphoma. Previously untreated patients with stage II-IV follicular lymphoma in need of therapy were randomized to receive 6 cycles of R-CHOP, R-MCP, or R-FCM. Responding patients were subsequently randomized to 2 years rituximab maintenance or observation, stratified by type of immunochemotherapy, quality of remission, and Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI). Recruitment was stopped in 2011 after the PRIMA results had been published. Median age of the 206 recruited patients was 66 years (range, 24-86), and (FLIPI) was low in 13%, intermediate in 28%, and high in 60%. High and comparable overall response rates were observed after R-CHOP (88%), R-MCP (89%), and R-FCM (91%). Rituximab maintenance substantially prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) in comparison to observation in remission (hazard ratio 0.39, = 0.0064). In the rituximab maintenance group, the 3-year PFS was 89% compared with 69% in the observation group. No differences in overall survival were observed for maintenance vs. observation (hazard ratio 1.04, 95% confidence interval 0.32-3.43, = 0.95). In this randomized trial, 2 years of rituximab maintenance was associated with significantly prolonged PFS in comparison to observation after response to first-line immunochemotherapy in follicular lymphoma. Our data represent an independent confirmation of the PRIMA trial results. (Clinical Trial EudraCT Number: 2005-005473-29, 2006-09-26).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HS9.0000000000000600DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8221804PMC
July 2021

Molecular characterization of Burkitt lymphoma in the breast or ovary.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 Sep 24;62(9):2120-2129. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Institute of Human Genetics, Ulm University and Ulm University Medical Center, Ulm, Germany.

Breast and ovary have been described as rare but typical sites of presentation of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) in females, particularly after puberty. We revised a historic series of 44 lymphomas of the breast or the ovary in women diagnosed between 1973 and 2014 as BL. Fluorescence hybridization (FISH) was applied to all, and array-based copy number analysis as well as expression profiling to a subset of those cases. Of the 42 cases evaluable for FISH, 19 cases showed an IG- translocation but only 9 of those fulfilled the criteria of the current WHO classification for the diagnosis of BL. Those nine cases resembled BL of other sites with regard to molecular features. Our findings along with literature data suggest that breast and ovarian BL (1) seem to be rarer than hitherto assumed, (2) share typical molecular features with other BL, and (3) predominantly affect women in the fertile age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1907374DOI Listing
September 2021

LncRNA as Cancer Biomarkers.

Methods Mol Biol 2021 ;2348:27-41

Hematopathology Section and Lymph Node Registry, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany.

Although the great majority of cancers share a defined group of hallmarks that is responsible for the uncontrolled growth of particular cell types, it is today clear that under the name of cancer we refer to hundreds of different diseases. Furthermore, each of these diseases has an intrinsic variability due to the genetic background in which it develops. The ability to correctly identify these diseases is urgently needed, because each of them may require a specific therapeutic treatment for successful cure. Cancer biomarkers can be extremely valuable tools for efficient diagnosis and prognosis of cancers. In order to succeed in distinguishing between cancer types and progression-associated genetic backgrounds, cancer biomarkers need to have a strong specificity for a particular disease condition. With the development of novel sequencing technologies, it became clear that the set of genes transcribed from human cells is not limited to genes that code for proteins. On the contrary, our cells contain thousands of RNA without any protein-coding potential. The observation that these transcripts have a much higher cell/tissue specificity of expression in comparison to protein-coding genes makes them a potentially very valuable source of novel cancer biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-1581-2_2DOI Listing
September 2021

Reduction of immunosuppression combined with whole-brain radiotherapy and concurrent systemic rituximab is an effective yet toxic treatment of primary central nervous system post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (pCNS-PTLD): 14 cases from the prospective German PTLD registry.

Ann Hematol 2021 Aug 11;100(8):2043-2050. Epub 2021 May 11.

Department of Haematology and Oncology, DIAKO Ev. Diakonie-Krankenhaus Bremen, Gröpelinger Heerstr. 406-408, 28239, Bremen, Germany.

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) exclusively affecting the central nervous system-primary CNS-PTLD (pCNS-PTLD)-are rare. There is no standard therapy, and previous case series have included heterogeneous treatment approaches. We performed a retrospective, multi-centre analysis of 14 patients with pCNS-PTLD after solid organ transplantation (SOT) treated in the prospective German PTLD registry with reduction of immunosuppression (RI), whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT), and concurrent systemic rituximab between 2001 and 2018. Twelve of fourteen patients were kidney transplant recipients and median age at diagnosis was 65 years. Thirteen of fourteen cases (93%) were monomorphic PTLD of the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma type, and 12/13 were EBV-associated. The median dose of WBRT administered was 40 Gy with a median fraction of 2 Gy. The median number of administered doses of rituximab (375 mg/m) IV was four. All ten patients evaluated responded to treatment (100%). Median OS was 2.5 years with a 2-year Kaplan-Meier estimate of 63% (95% confidence interval 30-83%) without any recorded relapses after a median follow-up of 2.6 years. Seven of fourteen patients (50%) suffered grade III/IV infections under therapy (fatal in two cases, 14%). During follow-up, imaging demonstrated grey matter changes interpreted as radiation toxicity in 7/10 evaluated patients (70%). The combination of RI, WBRT, and rituximab was an effective yet toxic treatment of pCNS-PTLD in this series of 14 patients. Future treatment approaches in pCNS-PTLD should take into account the significant risk of infections as well as radiation-induced neurotoxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-021-04548-2DOI Listing
August 2021

Mutational mechanisms shaping the coding and noncoding genome of germinal center derived B-cell lymphomas.

Leukemia 2021 07 5;35(7):2002-2016. Epub 2021 May 5.

University of Duesseldorf, Medical Faculty, Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Clinical Immunology, Center for Child and Adolescent Health, Düsseldorf, Germany.

B cells have the unique property to somatically alter their immunoglobulin (IG) genes by V(D)J recombination, somatic hypermutation (SHM) and class-switch recombination (CSR). Aberrant targeting of these mechanisms is implicated in lymphomagenesis, but the mutational processes are poorly understood. By performing whole genome and transcriptome sequencing of 181 germinal center derived B-cell lymphomas (gcBCL) we identified distinct mutational signatures linked to SHM and CSR. We show that not only SHM, but presumably also CSR causes off-target mutations in non-IG genes. Kataegis clusters with high mutational density mainly affected early replicating regions and were enriched for SHM- and CSR-mediated off-target mutations. Moreover, they often co-occurred in loci physically interacting in the nucleus, suggesting that mutation hotspots promote increased mutation targeting of spatially co-localized loci (termed hypermutation by proxy). Only around 1% of somatic small variants were in protein coding sequences, but in about half of the driver genes, a contribution of B-cell specific mutational processes to their mutations was found. The B-cell-specific mutational processes contribute to both lymphoma initiation and intratumoral heterogeneity. Overall, we demonstrate that mutational processes involved in the development of gcBCL are more complex than previously appreciated, and that B cell-specific mutational processes contribute via diverse mechanisms to lymphomagenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01251-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8257491PMC
July 2021

Metastases-directed Radiotherapy in Addition to Standard Systemic Therapy in Patients with Oligometastatic Breast Cancer: Study protocol for a randomized controlled multi-national and multi-center clinical trial (OLIGOMA).

Clin Transl Radiat Oncol 2021 May 5;28:90-96. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Klinik für Strahlentherapie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Deutschland.

Background: Several recent randomized therapeutic exploratory trials demonstrated improvement of progression-free survival and in some even overall survival using stereotactic body radiotherapy in patients with oligometastatic disease. However, only very few patients enrolled in these trials had breast cancer, and results from confirmatory trials are lacking.

Methods/design: The OLIGOMA-trial is a randomized controlled multi-national multi-center therapeutic confirmatory trial studying the role of local ablative radiotherapy as an additive treatment in patients with oligometastatic breast cancer receiving standard systemic therapy. Patients will be randomized 1:1 to standard systemic therapy according to national guidelines with or without radiotherapy to all metastatic sites. Randomization will be stratified according to type and line of systemic therapy, which has to be determined by a multidisciplinary tumor board before enrollment. Patients with up to five metastatic lesions are eligible, including patients with up to three brain metastases (only in case of extracranial disease) and with locoregional recurrence (only in case of additional metastatic lesions). In the standard arm, palliative radiotherapy to symptomatic metastases is permitted if at least one lesion remains untreated. The co-primary endpoints are progression-free survival and quality of life. The primary hypothesis is that progression-free survival in the experimental arm will be superior to the standard arm while simultaneously demonstrating non-inferiority of quality of life at 12 weeks after randomization. Secondary endpoints are feasibility, overall survival, toxicity, quality of life and patient satisfaction. A translational sub-study with collection of ctDNA will be conducted.

Discussion: The OLIGOMA-trial will provide high level evidence on the use of and benefit from local ablative radiotherapy for patients with oligometastatic breast cancer.

Trial Registration: The OLIGOMA-trial is registered at clinicialtrials.gov under the identification NCT04495309. The related information was first posted on July 31st 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctro.2021.03.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065185PMC
May 2021

Evolutionary clonal trajectories in nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma with high risk of transformation.

Haematologica 2021 Oct 1;106(10):2654-2666. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Department of Internal Medicine IV, Oncology/Hematology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale).

The B-cell architecture of nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) is complex since it is composed of malignant lymphocyte-predominant cells along with a rich B-cell bystander environment. To gain insight into molecular determinants of disease transformation, we studied B-cell evolutionary trajectories in lymphoma tissue from diagnosis to relapse or transformation to non- Hodgkin lymphoma by next-generation sequencing of immunoglobulin heavy chains. Patients with NLPHL that later transformed were older and showed IgD negativity, absence of the characteristic IGHV3/IGHD3/IGHJ6 lymphocyte-predominant rearrangement and high repertoire clonality. We constructed phylogenetic trees within the compartment of the malignant clone to investigate clonal evolution. In all relapsing cases, the lymphocyte-predominant rearrangement was identical at diagnosis and relapse. NLPHL cases with transformation showed more complex trajectories with strong intraclonal diversification. The dominant founder clone in transformations showed clonal evolution if derived from the same cell of origin, or arose from a different cell of origin. Together, our data point to a significant role of antigenic drive in the transformation of NLHPL and identify high B-cell repertoire clonality with dominant intraclonal lymphocyte-predominant cell diversification as a hallmark of transformation. Sequencing of initial paraffin-embedded tissue may therefore be applied diagnostically to identify NLPHL cases with high risk of transformation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2021.278427DOI Listing
October 2021

The "Burkitt-like" immunophenotype and genotype is rarely encountered in diffuse large B cell lymphoma and high-grade B cell lymphoma, NOS.

Virchows Arch 2021 Sep 2;479(3):575-583. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Clinical Pathology, Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus, Auerbachstrasse 110, 70376, Stuttgart, Germany.

Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a B cell lymphoma composed of monomorphic medium-sized blastic cells with basophilic cytoplasm and a high proliferation index. BL has a characteristic immunophenotype of CD10 and BCL6 positive and BCL2 negative and harbours MYC gene rearrangements (MYCR) in >90% of the cases. Owing to its highly aggressive nature, intensified chemotherapy regimens are usually administered, requiring an exact diagnosis. Since the diagnosis usually warrants an integration of morphologic, immunophenotypic and genetic findings and because there is a morphologic overlap with the new WHO category of high-grade B cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (HGBL, NOS) and some cases of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), we wanted to test the distinctiveness of the CD10+, BCL6+, BCL2- and MYCR positive immunopheno-genotype in a large cohort of >1000 DLBCL and HGBL. Only 9/982 DLBCL classified by an expert panel of haematopathologists (0.9%) displayed a single MYCR and were CD10+, BCL6+ and BCL2-. In a similar fashion, only one out of 32 HGBL, NOS (3%) displayed the "Burkitt-like" genetic/immunophenotypic constitution. The samples of non-BL showing the BL-typic immunopheno-genotype, interestingly, harboured higher copy number variations (CNV) by OncoScan analysis (mean 7.3 CNVs/sample; range: 2-13 vs. 2.4; range 0-6) and were also distinct from pleomorphic BL cases regarding their mutational spectrum by NGS analysis. This implies that the characteristic immunophenotype of BL, in concert with a single MYCR, is uncommon in these aggressive lymphomas, and that this constellation favours BL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-021-03050-4DOI Listing
September 2021

Clinical Practice Guideline: Follicular Lymphoma—Diagnosis, Treatment, and Follow-up.

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2021 04 30;118(Forthcoming). Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Background: Follicular lymphoma (FL) occurs predominantly at advanced age, with an annual incidence of 3-5 cases per 100 000 inhabitants in Western countries. The clinical course is heterogeneous.

Methods: For this new guideline, systematic literature searches were conducted in medical databases (MEDLINE, PubMed Central) (up to November 2017) and in the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N), and recent publications were added.

Results: The results of 21 systematic reviews with meta-analyses, 75 randomized controlled trials, and 58 prospective and retrospective studies were evaluated. Lymph-node biopsy is necessary for initial diagnosis of FL. CT scanning of the neck, thorax, and abdomen should be performed to assess how far the disease has spread, together with bone marrow biopsy and, if required, PET/CT. In early FL (stages I and II; 10-15 %), potentially curative radiotherapy combined with an anti-CD 20 antibody is recommended. In advanced disease (stages III and IV), watchful waiting is indicated for patients who have no clinical symptoms and a low tumor burden. Patients with clinical symptoms and/or high tumor burden should receive chemotherapy in combination with an anti-CD 20 antibody, followed by 2 years' maintenance treatment with an anti-CD 20 antibody.

Conclusion: Given the good long-term prognosis of FL, the treatment must be chosen with care and thorough follow-up is necessary to ensure detection of late sequelae such as second malignancies or organ damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8295529PMC
April 2021

Active Akt signaling triggers CLL toward Richter transformation via overactivation of Notch1.

Blood 2021 02;137(5):646-660

Cologne Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases (CECAD), Cologne, Germany.

Richter's transformation (RT) is an aggressive lymphoma that occurs upon progression from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Transformation has been associated with genetic aberrations in the CLL phase involving TP53, CDKN2A, MYC, and NOTCH1; however, a significant proportion of RT cases lack CLL phase-associated events. Here, we report that high levels of AKT phosphorylation occur both in high-risk CLL patients harboring TP53 and NOTCH1 mutations as well as in patients with RT. Genetic overactivation of Akt in the murine Eµ-TCL1 CLL mouse model resulted in CLL transformation to RT with significantly reduced survival and an aggressive lymphoma phenotype. In the absence of recurrent mutations, we identified a profile of genomic aberrations intermediate between CLL and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Multiomics assessment by phosphoproteomic/proteomic and single-cell transcriptomic profiles of this Akt-induced murine RT revealed an S100 protein-defined subcluster of highly aggressive lymphoma cells that developed from CLL cells, through activation of Notch via Notch ligand expressed by T cells. Constitutively active Notch1 similarly induced RT of murine CLL. We identify Akt activation as an initiator of CLL transformation toward aggressive lymphoma by inducing Notch signaling between RT cells and microenvironmental T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020005734DOI Listing
February 2021

Mantle cell lymphomas with concomitant MYC and CCND1 breakpoints are recurrently TdT positive and frequently show high-grade pathological and genetic features.

Virchows Arch 2021 Jul 2;479(1):133-145. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Hematopathology Section, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany.

Chromosomal breakpoints involving the MYC gene locus, frequently referred to as MYC rearrangements (MYC - R+), are a diagnostic hallmark of Burkitt lymphoma and recurrent in many other subtypes of B-cell lymphomas including follicular lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and other high-grade B-cell lymphomas and are associated with an aggressive clinical course. In remarkable contrast, in MCL, only few MYC - R+ cases have yet been described. In the current study, we have retrospectively analysed 16 samples (MYC - R+, n = 15, MYC - R-, n = 1) from 13 patients and describe their morphological, immunophenotypic and (molecular) genetic features and clonal evolution patterns. Thirteen out of fifteen MYC - R+ samples showed a non-classical cytology including pleomorphic (centroblastic, immunoblastic), anaplastic or blastoid. MYC translocation partners were IG-loci in 4/11 and non-IG loci in 7/11 analysed cases. The involved IG-loci included IGH in 3 cases and IGL in one case. PAX5 was the non-IG partner in 2/7 patients. The MYC - R+ MCL reported herein frequently displayed characteristics associated with an aggressive clinical course including high genomic-complexity (6/7 samples), frequent deletions involving the CDKN2A locus (7/10 samples), high Ki-67 proliferation index (12/13 samples) and frequent P53 expression (13/13 samples). Of note, in 4/14 samples, SOX11 was not or only focally expressed and 3/13 samples showed focal or diffuse TdT-positivity presenting a diagnostic challenge as these features could point to a differential diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and/or lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukaemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-021-03022-8DOI Listing
July 2021

Double-hit lymphoma of the male breast: a case report.

J Med Case Rep 2020 Dec 18;14(1):245. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Institute of Human Genetics, Ulm University and Ulm University Medical Center, D-89081, Ulm, Germany.

Background: Whereas lymphoma of the female breast is already rare, lymphoma of the male breast has only anecdotally been reported. Within a study of 32 lymphoma of the breast reported between 1973 and 2014 as Burkitt lymphoma, we observed a single male case, which we report here.

Case Presentation: A 72-years-old Caucasian man presented with a mass in his left breast. Clinical history included prior basal cell carcinoma, leiomyosarcoma, and administration of spironolactone. The reference pathology diagnosis at presentation was Burkitt lymphoma according to the Kiel Classification. The present re-investigation using fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed an IGH-MYC translocation and a break in the BCL2 locus in the tumor cells. Thus, in light of the current WHO classification, the diagnosis was revised to high-grade B-cell lymphoma with MYC and BCL2 rearrangement, Burkitt morphology (so-called "double-hit" lymphoma). Genome-wide chromosomal imbalance mapping revealed a complex pattern of aberrations in line with this diagnosis. The aberrations, including copy-number gains in chromosomes 3q and 18 and focal homozygous loss in 9p21.3, resembled typical changes of lymphomas affecting "immune-privileged" sites.

Conclusion: The present case adds to the understanding of the pathogenesis of male breast lymphomas, about which hardly any molecular characterization has been published yet.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13256-020-02526-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7747391PMC
December 2020

Cytokeratin expression in plasmablastic lymphoma - a possible diagnostic pitfall in the routine work-up of tumours.

Histopathology 2021 May 25;78(6):831-837. Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Department of Clinical Pathology, Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus, Stuttgart, Germany.

Aims: Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare aggressive B-cell lymphoma that frequently arises at extranodal sites in the setting of immunosuppression. The diagnosis of PBL is complex, owing to a frequent solid or cohesive growth pattern, and an often unusual immunophenotype. Several case reports have described cytokeratin (CK) expression in PBL, introducing a diagnostic pitfall. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of CK expression in PBL in the largest series available to date.

Methods And Results: By using immunohistochemistry in a cohort of 72 PBLs, we identified CK8/18 positivity in 11 of 72 cases (15%) and AE1/3 positivity in six of 65 cases (9%), clearly contrasting with a control series of non-PBL aggressive B-cell lymphomas (one of 96 diffuse large B-cell lymphomas), as well as with data in the literature describing only occasional CK expression in haematological neoplasms.

Conclusions: Our data indicate CK expression in a substantial number (15%) of PBLs. In view of the particular morphological features of PBL and its frequent negativity for the common leukocyte antigen and B-cell markers, this feature represents a pitfall in the routine diagnostic work-up of PBL, and requires more extensive immunohistochemical and molecular characterisation of cases entering the differential diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/his.14300DOI Listing
May 2021
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