Genomic rearrangements in the MYC locus occur in ~12% of lymphomas with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) morphology and are associated with inferior outcome. Previous studies exploring MYC rearrangements have primarily used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assays to characterize break-apart status but have rarely examined breakpoint location, and in some cases have not examined partner identity. We performed targeted sequencing of MYC, BCL2, BCL6, and the immunoglobulin (IG) loci in 112 tumors with DLBCL morphology harboring MYC rearrangement. We characterized the location of the MYC rearrangement at base pair resolution and identified the partner in 88 cases. We observed a cluster of breakpoints upstream of the MYC coding region and in intron 1 (the "genic cluster"). Genic cluster rearrangements were enriched for translocations involving IGH (80%), whereas nongenic rearrangements occurred mostly downstream of the MYC gene with a variety of partners, including IGL and IGK. Other recurrent partners included BCL6, ZCCHC7, and RFTN1, which has not previously been described as a MYC partner. We compared 2 commercially available FISH break-apart assays for the MYC locus and observed discordant results in 32% of cases examined, including some with MYC-IGL and MYC-IGK rearrangements. In cases of high-grade B-cell lymphoma with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangement (HGBL-DH), so-called "double-hit" lymphomas, the majority of MYC rearrangements had non-IG partners (65%), with breakpoints outside the genic cluster (72%). In patients with de novo HGBL-DH of DLBCL morphology, MYC-IG rearrangements showed a trend toward inferior time to progression and overall survival compared with MYC-non-IG rearrangements. Our data reveal clinically relevant architecture of MYC rearrangements in lymphomas with DLBCL morphology.
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