Molecular pathological analysis of testicular diffuse large cell lymphomas.

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The molecular pathology of 20 lymphomas, which presented as testicular masses in patients with no evidence of previous lymphoma, was analyzed. These lymphomas occurred in men with a median age of 69 years (range, 37 to 87 years). Nine of the 14 patients with follow-up died of lymphoma (median survival, 12 months). All cases were diffuse large B-cell lymphomas that were positive for CD20 and commonly showed plasmacytoid differentiation (10 of 20 cases). Three cases were Burkitt's-like large cell lymphomas. Infiltration by lymphoma in the seminiferous tubules was seen in most cases. All lymphomas were negative for human herpesvirus 8 and Epstein-Barr virus by 35 cycles of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), suggesting that these viruses are not involved in the pathogenesis of primary testicular diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL). PCR-based studies for t(14;18) and t(11;14) translocations, commonly seen in follicular and mantle-cell lymphomas, were negative in all cases. Nucleotide sequences of the V-D- and J segments of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IgH) rearrangements obtained in 12 cases after PCR amplification were analyzed and compared with known germlines. The frequency of VH-family use in testicular DLBCL was similar to that reported for normal peripheral blood lymphocytes and follicular lymphomas. This contrasts with the previously published findings of preferential use of the VH3- or VH4-family by nodal DLBCL. Comparison with the published germlines showed a low similarity index in most of the cases, suggesting the presence of extensive somatic mutations. Ongoing mutation, as indicated by intraclonal variation in IgH sequence, was observed in all sequenced cases, suggesting direct antigen stimulation, which represents another difference between primary testicular and nodal DLBCL. Our results suggest that testicular lymphomas represent a subset of DLBCL that differs from their nodal counterparts in several respects. Their histological and molecular features show some similarities to those seen in marginal zone (MALT) lymphomas.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

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