Performance of a Commercially Available MAL Antibody in the Diagnosis of Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma

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Myelin and lymphocyte (MAL) protein has been previously reported as a highly specific marker for distinguishing primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBL) from diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (DLBCL, NOS). However, there has not been a commercially available MAL antibody for immunohistochemistry. We identified a commercially available MAL monoclonal antibody and evaluated it by immunohistochemistry on 43 cases of PMBL and 63 cases of DLBCL, NOS. We also compared this with a CD200 antibody that was previously reported useful in distinguishing PMBL and DLBCL, NOS. A threshold of 10% positive tumor cells was used to determine positive protein expression. MAL was expressed in 72% cases of PMBL and 0% of cases of DLBCL, NOS (sensitivity=72%, specificity=100%). CD200 was expressed in 81% of PMBL cases and 13% of DLBCL, NOS cases (sensitivity=81%, specificity=87%). To our knowledge, this is the first report on the utility of a commercially available MAL monoclonal antibody in the diagnosis of PMBL. There is a high specificity with good sensitivity in distinguishing PMBL from DLBCL, NOS, similar to previous studies with a noncommercial source. This antibody will likely prove useful in identifying cases of PMBL in routine practice.

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