TCL1 expression predicts overall survival in patients with mantle cell lymphoma

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Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) has a heterogeneous clinical course. Although most cases show a poor prognosis, a minority has an indolent course. It is difficult to identify indolent MCL cases prospectively. T-cell leukemia/lymphoma protein 1 (TCL1) is expressed by several B-cell lymphomas, including MCL. This study examined the expression of TCL1 and its prognostic relevance for MCL.


Clinical data for 162 patients with MCL were collected. Of these, 144 cases with available tissues for tissue microarray construction and immunostaining were included in the analysis. TCL1 staining was quantified using the Nuclear Quant application with Pannoramic™ Viewer v. 1.14. High TCL1 expression was defined as moderate to strong nuclear and/or cytoplasmic staining in 40% or more of the cells.


High TCL1 expression was observed in 39 of 144 samples (27.1%). Patients with low TCL1 expression were more likely to present with blastoid/pleomorphic morphology (P = 0.010). Low TCL1 expression was associated with significantly shorter overall survival (OS, P = 0.006). Multivariate analysis identified low TCL1 expression (P = 0.003), high-risk MIPI (P = 0.027), and anemia (P = 0.018) as adverse prognostic factors.


Our study suggests that TCL1 expression profile may have a role in the prediction of overall outcome in patient with MCL and call for prospective studies.

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