Clinical monoclonal B lymphocytosis versus rai 0 chronic lymphocytic leukemia: A comparison of cellular, cytogenetic, molecular, and clinical features

Fortunato Morabito, Laura Mosca, Giovanna Cutrona, Luca Agnelli, Giacomo Tuana, Manuela Ferracin, Barbara Zagatti, Marta Lionetti, Sonia Fabris, Francesco Maura, Serena Matis, Massimo Gentile, Ernesto Vigna, Monica Colombo, Carlotta Massucco, Anna Grazia Recchia, Sabrina Bossio, Laura De Stefano, Fiorella Ilariucci, Caterina MusolinoStefano Molica, Francesco Di Raimondo, Agostino Cortelezzi, Pierfrancesco Tassone, Massimo Negrini, Sara Monti, Davide Rossi, Gianluca Gaidano, Manlio Ferrarini, Antonino Neri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate the incidence and clinical relevance of classic and new prognostic markers, IGHV gene mutational status, and chromosomal abnormalities in clinical monoclonal B lymphocytosis (cMBL) compared with Rai stage 0 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (Rai0-CLL). Experimental Design: A group of 136 patients with cMBL and a group of 216 Rai0-CLL cases were investigated prospectively. Results: IGHV-mutated cases were significantly more frequent among cMBLs (P = 0.005), whereas the distribution of CD38 and ZAP-70 positive cases, of patients with NOTCH1 and SF3B1 mutations or exhibiting the major CLL cytogenetic abnormalities, was similar in the two groups. Moreover, no significant differences were found either in IGHV/IGHD/IGHJ gene usage or in the overall prevalence of stereotyped IGHV gene sequences. Cells from cMBL and Rai0-CLL exhibited similar gene and microRNA (miRNA) signatures; in addition, when grouped according to the IGHV mutational status, IGHVunmutated cases showed different transcriptional signatures compared with IGHV-mutated patients, irrespective of the cMBL or Rai0-CLL classification. cMBL diagnosis per se was predictive of longer progression-free survival. Conclusions: Our study based on a prospective series of patients indicates that no major differences exist between the circulating cells from cMBL and Rai0-CLL, at least based on a comparison of the markers used in the study. This possibly suggests that the two conditions mainly differ in the initial size of the monoclonal cell population, which may influence the subsequent timing of clonal expansion and clinical manifestations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5890-5900
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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