Lymphoid follicle colonization by Bcl-2bright+CD10+ B-cells (“follicular lymphoma in situ”) at nodal and extranodal sites can be a manifestation of follicular homing of lymphoma

Lee, John C.; Hoehn, Daniela; Schecter, Jordan; Vundavalli, Murty V.; Mansukhani, Mahesh M.; Alobeid, Bachir; Bhagat, Govind

Follicular lymphoma (FL) in situ (FLIS) was first described and proposed as a distinct entity associated with an indolent clinical course in 2002. To gain further insight into the biology of this enigmatic lymphoproliferation, we analyzed morphologic, phenotypic, cytogenetic and molecular features of tissue specimens manifesting a pattern of follicular colonization by Bcl-2bright+CD10+ B-cells and associated lymphomas from 13 adults and evaluated their clinical outcomes. We observed this immunoarchitectural pattern in lymph nodes (n = 8), at extranodal sites (n = 4), or at both locations (n = 1) at diagnosis. All except 3 cases showed concomitant bright CD10 expression. Six (46%) patients had synchronous and 2 (15%) developed metachronous B-cell lymphomas, with 5 representing high-grade lymphomas. The Bcl-2bright+CD10+ B-cells colonizing reactive follicles and synchronous lymphomas were clonally related in 4/5 (80%) cases analyzed and 5/6 (83%) displayed BCL2 translocations. Two cases exhibited complex karyotypes in both components; a genetic “triple hit” was detected in one instance and 2 copies of t(14,18) were observed in a lymph node biopsy lacking evidence of lymphoma from an individual with stage 4 disease, suspected on imaging, who subsequently displayed a mantle zone/perifollicular infiltrate of Bcl-2bright+CD10+ B-cells in the adenoids. Our findings suggest that bright Bcl-2, and often bright CD10 expression, by B-cells colonizing reactive follicles might represent a phenomenon related to follicular homing of lymphoma, rather than being an attribute of preneoplastic FL precursors. Furthermore, due to the relatively high frequency of overt lymphomas observed, complete staging workup is recommended for patients exhibiting a Bcl-2bright+CD10+ B-cell follicular colonization pattern on biopsy.


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Pathology and Cell Biology
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September 16, 2019