A distinctive composite lymphoma consisting of clonally related mantle cell lymphoma and follicle center cell lymphoma
Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
Although follicle center cell lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma are both B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL), they are regarded as separate entities with distinct clinical, morphological, immunophenotypic and molecular characteristics. To our knowledge, the coexistence of these 2 lymphomas in the same patient has never been reported. We describe a 70-year-old woman with a long-standing history of follicle center cell lymphoma, cytological grade I, who subsequently developed a composite lymphoma consisting of well-demarcated foci of persistent follicle center cell lymphoma surrounded by mantle cell lymphoma. This morphological interpretation was supported by the presence of both bcl-1 and bcl-2 gene rearrangements, which are molecular genetic hallmarks of mantle cell lymphoma and follicle center cell lymphoma, respectively. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis for rearranged immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) genes showed a dominant band identical in size in microdissected tumor cells of the follicle center cell and mantle cell lymphomas. Cloning and sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed a common clone-specific IgH gene rearrangement in these 2 lymphomas. These findings suggest that this composite lymphoma represents the unusual evolution of a malignant B-cell clone that resulted in the development of 2 morphologically distinct but clonally related B-cell NHLs. These findings also show the importance of integrating morphological, immunophenotypic, and molecular data to enhance our understanding of the complex pathogenic interrelationships in lymphomagenesis.