A New and Simple TRG Multiplex PCR Assay for Assessment of T-cell Clonality: A Comparative Study from the EuroClonality Consortium


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Abstract

T-cell Receptor Gamma (TRG) rearrangements are commonly used to detect clonal lymphoproliferations in hematopathology, since they are rearranged in virtually all T lymphocytes and have a relatively limited recombinatorial repertoire, which reduces the risk of false negative results, at the cost of potential false positivity. We developed an initial one-tube, 2-fluorochrome EuroClonality TRG PCR multiplex (TRG-1T-2F) which was compared to the original 2-tube, 2-fluorochrome EuroClonality/BIOMED-2 TRG PCR (TRG-2T-2F) and a commercial Invivoscribe one-tube, one-fluorochrome kit (IVS-1T-1F) on a series of 239 samples, including both T-cell malignancies and reactive cases. This initial assay yielded discrepant results between the 10 participating EuroClonality laboratories when using 2 fluorochromes, leading to adoption of a final single color EuroClonality strategy (TRG-1T-1F). Compared to TRG-2T-2F, both TRG-1T-1F and IVS-1T-1F demonstrated easier interpretation and a lower risk of false positive from minor peaks in dispersed repertoires. Both generate smaller fragments and as such are likely to be better adapted to analysis of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples. Their differential performance was mainly explained by (i) superposition of biallelic rearrangements with IVS-1T-1F, due to more extensive overlapping of the repertoires and (ii) intentional omission of the TRGJP primer in TRG-1T-1F, in order to avoid the potential risk of confusion of consensus TRG V9-JP normal rearrangements with a pathological clone.

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