Second primary lymphoma or recurrence: A dilemma solved by VDJ rearrangement analysis

Massimo Libra, Valli De Re, Annunziata Gloghini, Patrick Michael Navolanic, Antonino Carbone, Mauro Boiocchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A lymphoma patient in remission that develops a second lymphoma is frequently assumed to have had a relapse of the original lymphoma. However, the second lymphoma may instead be a new lymphoma with a different clonal origin. Comparison of histological characteristics alone is insufficient in many cases to distinguish new lymphomas from recurrent lymphomas. In contrast, clonal origins of B-cell lymphomas can be reliably compared by VDJ rearrangement analysis of B-cell IgH genes. Simultaneous lymphomas have similarly been analyzed by this technique to determine whether or not both tumors share a common clonal origin. Application of VDJ rearrangement analysis in clinical research has been important for characterizing mechanisms of lymphoma development. Furthermore, this technique has the potential to improve treatment of lymphoma patients because management of recurrent lymphomas differs from that of new lymphomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539-1543
Number of pages5
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Non-Hodgkin lymphomas
  • Recurrence
  • Second primary tumor
  • VDJ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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