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Primary cutaneous follicular lymphoma - A clinicopathologic and molecular study of 16 cases in support of a distinct entity

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Helen Lucraft


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Primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas displaying a prominent follicular growth pattern are rare and remain poorly defined, particularly in terms of the frequency of detection of t(14;18) and whether or not, as a group. they represent an entity distinct from follicular lymphoma arising in lymph nodes. The morphologic, immunophenotypic, and clinical features of 16 cases of primary cutaneous follicular lymphoma, identified during a review of all PCBCL in the Scotland and Newcastle Lymphoma Group database, were studied and the number of cases harboring t(14; 18) assessed by polymerase chain reaction using primers to the major breakpoint cluster region. Comparisons were made with stage I follicular lymphoma arising in lymph nodes and follicular lymphoma secondarily involving the skin. All cases of primary cutaneous follicular lymphoma had undergone thorough staging, including physical examination and CT scans of chest and abdomen, with 15 of 16 cases also having bone marrow aspiration and/or trephine performed. The morphology and immunophenotype of the lesions were similar to that expected in lymph nodes. All cases displayed a follicular architecture complete with follicular dendritic cell networks and comprised an admixture of CD10 and/or bcl-6-positive neoplastic centrocytes and centroblasts with 13 of 16 cases also expressing bcl-2 protein. None harbored t(14;18), a significantly different finding compared with cases of stage I nodal follicular lymphoma (p <0.001) and secondary cutaneous follicular lymphoma (p <0.039). Relapses occurred in five of 15 patients with a median time to first relapse of 20 months (range 1-73 months; mean 27.2 months). These were multiple in two patients and involved extracutaneous sites in two patients. The propensity for relapse was similar to that in a comparative cohort of stage I nodal follicular lymphoma, but the group of primary cutaneous follicular lymphoma were significantly more likely to attain complete remission; all cases of primary cutaneous follicular lymphoma were in complete remission when last seen compared with 49 of 87 patients with stage I nodal follicular lymphoma (p <0.005). No lymphoma-related deaths were encountered in 15 cases with a mean follow-up >60 months (range 5-119 months). These results support the concept of a subtype of follicular lymphoma lacking t(14;18) involving the major breakpoint cluster region, and with a propensity to arise in the skin. Despite a high relapse rate patients with primary cutaneous follicular lymphoma are more likely to achieve complete remission and may ultimately have a more favorable long-term prognosis than those with equivalent nodal disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Goodlad JR, Krajewski AS, Batstone PJ, McKay P, White JM, Benton EC, Kavanagh GM, Lucraft HH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Surgical Pathology

Year: 2002

Volume: 26

Issue: 6

Pages: 733-741

ISSN (print): 0147-5185

ISSN (electronic): 1532-0979

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1097/00000478-200206000-00006


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