Prevalence and clinical implications of bone marrow involvement in pediatric anaplastic large cell lymphoma

L. Mussolin, M. Pillon, E. S. d'Amore, N. Santoro, A. Lombardi, F. Fagioli, L. Zanesco, Angelo Rosolen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) harbors the reciprocal chromosomal translocation t(2;5)(p23;q35) in approximately 80% of the cases. The genes involved are nucleophosmin (NPM) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and the resulting chimeric NPM -ALK protein is thought to play a key role in the pathogenesis of t(2;5) positive ALCL. Few data on bone marrow (BM) involvement in ALCL have been published and they mostly rely on morphological examination of BM smears. We studied 52 ALCL for NPM-ALK expression by RT-PCR: 47/52 biopsies were positive. In 41 of the 47 cases we obtained the BM at diagnosis and investigated the prevalence of minimal BM infiltration by RT-PCR and real-time PCR. Minimal disseminated disease was positive in 25/41 patients (61%), of whom six had morphologically infiltrated BM. Survival analysis demonstrated a 5-year progression-free survival of 41±11% for patients with molecularly positive BM vs 100% for patients with negative BM (P = 0.001). These results suggest that minimal BM involvement at diagnosis is a common event in pediatric ALCL and that minimal BM disease monitoring could identify patients at risk of relapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1643-1647
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005


  • ALCL
  • Minimal disseminated disease
  • RT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cancer Research


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