ALK-negative anaplastic large cell lymphoma is a genetically heterogeneous disease with widely disparate clinical outcomes
Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic
Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-negative anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a CD30-positive T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that morphologically resembles ALK-positive ALCL but lacks chromosomal rearrangements of the ALK gene. The genetic and clinical heterogeneity of ALK-negative ALCL has not been delineated. We performed immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization on 73 ALK-negative ALCLs and 32 ALK-positive ALCLs and evaluated the associations among pathology, genetics, and clinical outcome. Chromosomal rearrangements of DUSP22 and TP63 were identified in 30% and 8% of ALK-negative ALCLs, respectively. These rearrangements were mutually exclusive and were absent in ALK-positive ALCLs. Five-year overall survival rates were 85% for ALK-positive ALCLs, 90% for DUSP22-rearranged ALCLs, 17% for TP63-rearranged ALCLs, and 42% for cases lacking all 3 genetic markers (P < .0001). Hazard ratios for death in these 4 groups after adjusting for International Prognostic Index and age were 1.0 (reference group), 0.58, 8.63, and 4.16, respectively (P = 7.10 × 10(-5)). These results were similar when restricted to patients receiving anthracycline-based chemotherapy, as well as to patients not receiving stem cell transplantation. Thus, ALK-negative ALCL is a genetically heterogeneous disease with widely disparate outcomes following standard therapy. DUSP22 and TP63 rearrangements may serve as predictive biomarkers to help guide patient management.