Aims: The aim of this study was to analyse the immunophenotypic and molecular features of a large series of follicular lymphomas, focusing in particular on atypical cases that fail to express CD10 and/or bcl-2. Such cases present diagnostic pitfalls, especially with regard to the differential diagnosis from follicular hyperplasia and marginal zone B-cell lymphoma. Therefore, we also included an immunohistochemical evaluation of stathmin, which is strongly expressed by germinal centre B cells, as a putative new marker for follicular lymphomas, particularly those with an atypical phenotype. Methods and results: Two hundred and five follicular lymphomas were investigated with immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH). The use of three distinct anti-bcl-2 antibodies together with CD10 expression data and FISH analysis for bcl-2 and bcl-6 rearrangements allowed subclassification of follicular lymphoma into four distinct subgroups: (i) CD10-positive/bcl-2-positive, (ii) CD10-positive/bcl-2-negative, (iii) CD10-negative/bcl-2-positive, and (iv) CD10-negative/bcl-2-negative. All cases were bcl-6-positive. STMN1 (stathmin) was shown to be helpful in diagnosing bcl-2-negative and/or CD10-negative follicular lymphomas, and in their distinction from marginal zone B-cell lymphoma. Conclusions: Combined immunohistological and molecular analyses reveal that follicular lymphomas showing an atypical immunophenotypic and molecular profile exist, and we demonstrate that STMN1 represents a novel useful diagnostic marker for these.
- Follicular lymphoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine