Clinical significance of bcl-2-MBR gene rearrangement and protein expression in diffuse large-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: An analysis of 83 cases

S. C. Tang, L. Visser, B. Hepperle, J. Hanson, S. Poppema

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Purpose: The goal of this study was to assess the prognostic significance of a rearrangement of the major breakpoint region of the bcl-2 gene and/or expression of bcl-2 protein in diffuse large-cell lymphomas of B-cell origin. Patients and Methods: All 83 patients diagnosed at the Cross Cancer Institute between 1987 and 1992 with malignant lymphoma (ML), diffuse large-cell ML noncleaved-cell ML or cleaved-cell ML, or with diffuse large-cell immunoblastic ML were studied. bcl-2 rearrangement was identified by a polymerase chain reaction technique. This technique detects the approximately 60% of rearrangements involving the major breakpoint region bcl-2 gene (bcl- 2-MBR). bcl-2 protein expression was studied by immunohistochemistry. Results: More than 66% of the cases expressed bcl-2 protein, whereas 18% had a detectable bcl-2-MBR gene rearrangement. Overall, cases with bcl-2-MBR rearrangement had shorter disease-free periods. Cases with nodal and extranodal presentation had a similar frequencies of bcl-2-MBR rearrangement; however, the disease-free period of patients with extranodal presentation and bcl-2-MBR rearrangement was significantly shorter than that of those without rearrangement. Conclusion: bcl-2 protein is frequently expressed in diffuse large-cell lymphomas, but does not influence prognosis. The bcl-2-MBR gene rearrangement may possibly be associated with a shorter disease-free period, particularly in the specific setting of a lymphoma with extranodal presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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