The Morphologic Spectrum of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas with BCL1/Cyclin D1 Gene Rearrangements

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BCL1/PRAD1 gene rearrangements involving the cyclin D1 gene are a feature of about 70% of centrocytic/mantlecell lymphomas (CC/MCL) but are identified in only a small proportion of other B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Of 37 lymphomas found to have BCL1/cyclin D1 (PRAD1, CCND1) gene rearrangements, 30 fit the morphologic and immunophenotypic criteria for typical CC/MCL. Seven cases with morphologic features atypical for CC/MCL were identified. CD5+ monoclonal B cells were documented in all these cases. Six cases were subsequently stained for cyclin D1 protein, and all showed nuclear positivity. Five cases had variably sized foci of cells with moderately abundant pale cytoplasm resembling parafollicular/monocytoid B cells, marginal zone cells, hairy cells, or even proliferation centers. Transformed-appearing cells were also present in some lymphomas. In one case, striking follicular colonization created a markedly nodular growth pattern mimicking a follicular lymphoma. A sixth case had a marked predominance of small, round lymphocytes at some sites, mimicking a small lymphocytic lymphoma. Five of these six cases also had areas more typical of CC/MCL. The seventh case was a CD5-positive splenic marginal zone-like lymphoma (SMZL) with plasmacytic differentiation and circulating villous lymphocytes consistent with a splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes (SLVL). These cases illustrate the morphologic spectrum of small B-cell lymphoid neoplasms that have BCL1/cyclin D1 gene rearrangements and overexpression of cyclin D1. Despite the BCL1 translocation and cyclin D1 overexpression, the splenic lymphoma with plasmacytic differentiation was definitely not a CC/MCL and fit the clinicopathologic entity of SMZL/SLVL. The other six cases are best considered CC/MCL variants based on a combined morphologic, immunophenotypic, and genotypic evaluation. Genotypic or immunophenotypic studies to identify cyclin D1 rearrangements and overexpression, although not-pathognomonic, are useful in recognizing these variant CC/MCL cases, which can mimic almost any of the other well-described but more indolent low-grade B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Some of the variant CC/MCL cases had features in common with the CD5 + cyclin D1 + SMZL/SLVL, suggesting a possible relationship between these two otherwise distinct entities.

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