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Primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma: a clinical, histological, phenotypic and genotypic study of 21 cases

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The clinical, histological, phenotypic and genotypic features of 21 primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas (CBCLs) have been investigated. The patients were 13 men and eight women aged 34–91 years (median 67) at diagnosis. Eighteen patients had localized disease, and three had multiple skin lesions at diagnosis. Twelve patients developed cutaneous or extracutaneous recurrences, and five died from malignant lymphoma 7–84 months (median 36) after diagnosis. Histological examination showed features of marginal zone/mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT)-type lymphoma in 12 cases. Three of these had transformed to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in relapse biopsies. The remaining cases were seven primary DLBCLs and two cases tentatively classified as follicle centre cell (FCC) lymphoma. The neoplastic B cells showed similar phenotypes and genotypes in most cases (CD20+, CD79+, CD5–, CD10–, cyclin D1–, bcl-2+, bcl-x–, bax–, t(14;18)-negative). p53 protein was expressed in five cases, and four harboured mis-sense or loss-of-function mutations in the p53 gene. Deletion or promoter region hypermethylation of the p16INK4a gene was detected in two patients with DLBCL. The level of retinoblastoma protein expression and the proliferative fraction were significantly higher in DLBCL (> 50%) than in MALT- or FCC-type lymphomas (< 10%). Features associated with an unfavourable prognosis were the presence of multiple skin lesions at diagnosis, transformation from MALT-type lymphoma to DLBCL, and possibly p16INK4a aberrations. It is concluded that most CBCLs are dissimilar from FCC lymphomas and seem to be more closely related to marginal zone/MALT-type lymphomas. It is also suggested that there are fundamental differences between DLBCL and other histological categories of CBCL, indicating that cutaneous DLBCL is a separate entity with an increased growth potential and genetic features similar to DLBCL originating in other anatomical sites.
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Keywords: B-cell lymphoma; immunophenotyping

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Herlev University Hospital, 75 Herlev Ringvej, DK-2730 Herlev, and 2:  Department of Tumour Cell Biology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark 3: Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg and 4: Gentofte University Hospital, Denmark 5: Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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