Human immunodeficiency virus-related lymphomas: A possible association between tumor proliferation, lack of ploidy anomalies, and immune deficiency
In an attempt to identify a biologic basis for the aggressive clinical behavior of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated lymphomas (HAL), dual-parameter flow-cytometric analysis was performed on 22 paraffin-embedded biopsy specimens. Cases were analyzed for DNA ploidy, the percentage of cells in S-phase (proliferative activity), and content of a recently identified proliferation-associated nuclear antigen, p105. The DNA-content analysis of 22 HALs was compared with that of 109 cases of intermediate-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) unrelated to the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) studied previously in our laboratory and 125 cases of high-grade NHL reported in the literature. The proliferative activity was higher in intermediate-grade HAL relative to non-AIDS NHL (24.0% v 10.4%; P = .03), and in high-grade HAL in comparison with NHLs of similar histology unassociated with HIV infection (24.8% v 19%), although the latter did not reach statistical significance. The number of mitoses per 10 high-power fields was found to correlate with the percentage of cells in S-phase (r = .68; P = .0004). Although p105 content tended to be higher in HAL than in an AIDS-related complex (ARC)-associated hyperplastic lymph node control, no statistically significant associations were found between p105 content and proliferative activity or the number of mitoses per 10 high-power fields. When compared with non-AIDS NHLs of comparable grade, there was a trend toward a lower incidence of DNA aneuploidy in both intermediate- (25% v 56%) and high-grade (38.5% v 60%) HALs. The higher proliferative activity and lower incidence of DNA aneuploidy found in HAL relative to non-AIDS NHL of comparable histologic grade may represent differences in pathogenesis and may underlie the poor prognosis of HIV-associated NHL.