We observed novel transformations of follicular lymphoma (FL), first, a switch in immunoglobulin (Ig) light chain, and second, transformation of FL to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Each set of tumors shared a common clonal origin, as demonstrated by expression of identical, unique CDR IIIH sequences, shared somatic mutations in JH, and identical bcl-2 translocation breakpoints of microdissected ALL cells. Molecular analysis of lambda V-gene expression demonstrated lambda-bearing cells in the original kappa tumor, while expansion of the lambda subclone at relapse occurred after active immunotherapy targeting the Ig receptor. These exceptional cases are compatible with a more contemporary model of lymphomagenesis in which critical events originate from genetic mechanisms which normally occur in germinal center (GC) B cells and challenge the current paradigm of parallel generation of subclones from an early, pre-GC precursor. It is also possible that the outgrowth of these variants was a consequence of immunoselection.
- Idiotype vaccine
- Immune selection
- Immunoglobulin (Ig) receptor revision
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research