Clinicopathological features of aggressive B-cell lymphomas including B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between diffuse large B-cell and Burkitt lymphomas: a study of 44 patients from Argentina

María Virginia Bürgesser, Gabriela Gualco, Ana Diller, Yasodha Natkunam, Carlos E Bacchi
Annals of Diagnostic Pathology 2013, 17 (3): 250-5
Aggressive B-cell lymphomas incorporate a wide spectrum of lymphomas that pose challenges in diagnosis as well as treatment. We evaluated the clinicopathological features of 44 patients with aggressive B-cell lymphomas which were classified into 3 groups based on the World Health Organization 2008 classification as follows: including 30 cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), 8 cases of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and 6 cases of B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between Burkitt lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (BCLU). Male predominance was observed in BL and BCLU groups and the mean age varied from 29 years in BL, 61 years in DLBCL and 70 years in BCLU. Patients with BCLU presented at more advanced stages and had a higher international prognostic index. By immunohistochemistry, they shared characteristics of both BL (including more frequent expression of SOX11) and DLBCL. FISH analyses showed three cases with more than one rearrangement: one MYC/BCL2 and two BCL2/BCL6, in addition to which one case with BCL2/IGH translocation and another with MYC rearrangement were also detected. The mean follow-up survival time of BCLU was 6.6 months, which was significantly shorter in comparison to DLBCL (31 months) and BL (30 months), respectively. The importance of recognizing this BCLU group relies on its different clinical course, poor prognosis and shorter survival than DLBCL and BL. An accurate diagnosis is critical for risk stratification and to improve therapeutic approaches and outcomes.


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