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Most primary adrenal lymphomas are diffuse large B-cell lymphomas with non-germinal center B-cell phenotype, BCL6 gene rearrangement and poor prognosis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher Bacon


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Primary adrenal lymphoma is extremely rare, accounting for <1% of non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and lymphoma-associated chromosomal translocations have yet to be reported in this entity. We performed a retrospective study of 10 cases in immunocompetent patients including 4 males and 6 females with a median age of 68 years. The most common presenting symptoms were abdominal pain and fever; unexpectedly, clinically evident adrenal insufficiency was detected only in one patient. The mean tumor size at diagnosis was 8.5 cm. Half of the patients had bilateral involvement. All cases presented with stage IE disease without regional nodal involvement. Histologically, eight cases were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, all of which carried a non-germinal center B-cell phenotype. Fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed BCL6 gene rearrangement in 5 (83%) of 6 diffuse large B-cell lymphomas investigated. The remaining cases were one case each of plasmablastic lymphoma and extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, the first and third case of primary adrenal lymphoma of these particular lymphoma subtypes in the English literature, respectively. At a median follow-up of 4.5 months, 7 patients died of lymphoma, 1 died of an unrelated disease, 1 was alive with disease, and 1 was alive without disease. The prognosis of these patients was poor as compared with those with nodal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. We speculate that the poor outcome of primary adrenal lymphoma might be related to the bulky tumor size at presentation, non-germinal center B-cell phenotype, and frequent BCL-6 gene rearrangement. Modern Pathology (2009) 22, 1210-1217; doi:10.1038/modpathol.2009.87; published online 12 June 2009

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mozos A, Ye HT, Chuang WY, Chu JS, Huang WT, Chen HK, Hsu YH, Bacon CM, Du MQ, Campo E, Chuang SS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Modern Pathology

Year: 2009

Volume: 22

Issue: 9

Pages: 1210-1217

ISSN (print): 0893-3952

ISSN (electronic): 1530-0285

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/modpathol.2009.87


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Funder referenceFunder name
Health Foundation
Hospital Clinic
Leukaemia Research Fund, UK
Royal College of Pathologists
Association of International Cancer Research
Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland
97-2320-B-001-MY3National Science Council, Taipei
CMNSC9703Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan
SAF08-3630Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation