Isolated MYC rearrangement without other recurrent genetic abnormalities is rare in B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (B-ALL/LBL), with most cases reported in pediatric patients. We report 3 adult cases with lymphoblasts showing a precursor B cell immunophenotype, and isolated
MYC/IGH translocation. All 3 cases occurred in male patients with initial presentation of diffuse lymphadenopathy. Cases 1 and 2 had B-ALL with significantly increased lymphoblasts in peripheral blood and bone marrow. Case 3, a patient with human immunodeficiency virus infection, had
the diagnosis of B-LBL made on a retroperitoneal lymph node biopsy and had no peripheral blood or bone marrow involvement. The leukemic and lymphoma cells in all 3 cases demonstrated Burkitt lymphoma-like morphology with deeply basophilic cytoplasm and numerous cytoplasmic vacuoles. However,
all 3 had immature immunophenotypes including expression of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT), absence of BCL6, and dim-to-negative CD45. CD20 was largely negative in 2 of 3 cases. All 3 had confirmed MYC/IGH translocation, but lacked rearrangements of BCL2 or BCL6.
EBV was negative by Epstein-Barr virus encoded small RNA in situ hybridization. Treatment protocols varied, including both high-risk ALL-type (protocol 8707) and high-grade lymphoma regimens (hyper-CVAD [cyclophosphamide, vincristine, adriamycin, and dexamethasone]), but no patient achieved
continuous complete remission. These cases seem to represent a distinct biological phenomenon, in which a MYC translocation may be acquired at an immature stage of differentiation, thus manifesting features of both B-ALL/LBL and Burkitt lymphoma.
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B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma;
gene (TdT) rearrangement;
terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase
Document Type: Research Article
Department of Laboratory Medicine, San Francisco Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, West Connecticut Healthcare Network, Danbury Hospital Campus, Danbury, CT
Pathology Department, John Muir Health, Pleasant Hill
Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, Martinez, CA
Laboratory of Pathology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Publication date: February 1, 2018