This study correlates bone marrow changes after Rituximab (RTX) treatment with the clinical characteristics and outcome of 26 patients with small B-cell lymphomas. The percentage, phenotypic profile and clonality pattern of bone marrow lymphoid infiltrate were analysed before and after RTX treatment. Clinical, histological and molecular responses to RTX were correlated to the clinical outcome of the patients. Sixteen out of twenty-six patients obtained a complete clinical remission (CR). A favourable histology - follicular lymphoma (FL), hairy cell leukaemia (HCL) and marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) - was associated with a higher frequency of clinical CR and histological remission (HR), in comparison with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL). Two patterns of bone marrow HR were observed: 1) complete lymphoid cell disappearance (9 patients); or 2) nodular/interstitial T-cell infiltration (10 patients). Three histological persistence (HP) patterns were observed: 1) persistence of CD20+ small lymphoid cells in 1 patient with MCL; 2) loss of CD20 antigen expression in 4 patients with CLL; or 3) persistence only of clusters of monotypic plasma cells in 2 patients with LPL. CR and HR were strongly correlated. The percentage of lymphomatous infiltrate after RTX was higher in patients who subsequently died of the disease. Molecular response showed no correlations with the further clinical course in 12 patients achieving a complete clinical remission. In conclusion, bone marrow morphological and immunohistochemical analysis with a restricted panel of antibodies is useful to avoid 42% false positive and 85% false negative interpretations. Persistence of monoclonality after RTX might have a role in evaluating the molecular pattern of CD20-negative clones that can emerge after RTX as a tumoral escape to therapy.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2006|
- Bone marrow
- Small B-cell lymphomas
ASJC Scopus subject areas