When the World Health Organization defined high-grade B-cell lymphoma with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements (HGBL-DH/TH) as a clinical category, rearrangements were the only structural variant (SV) incorporated. An “atypical double-hit” category has been proposed, encompassing tumors with concurrent MYC and BCL2 SVs other than cooccurring translocations (ie, copy number variations [CNVs]). Although the identification of a gene expression signature (DHITsig) shared among tumors harboring MYC and BCL2 rearrangements (HGBL-DH/TH-BCL2) has confirmed a common underlying biology, the biological implication of MYC and BCL2 CNVs requires further elucidation. We performed a comprehensive analysis of MYC and BCL2 SVs, as determined by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), in a cohort of 802 de novo tumors with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma morphology. Although BCL2 CNVs were associated with increased expression, MYC CNVs were not. Furthermore, MYC and BCL2 CNVs, in the context of atypical double-hit, did not confer a similar gene expression profile as HGBL-DH/TH-BCL2. Finally, although MYC immunohistochemistry (IHC) has been proposed as a screening tool for FISH testing, 2 mechanisms were observed that uncoupled MYC rearrangement from IHC positivity: (1) low MYC messenger RNA expression; and (2) false-negative IHC staining mediated by a single-nucleotide polymorphism resulting in an asparagine-to-serine substitution at the 11th amino acid residue of MYC (MYC-N11S). Taken together, these results support the current exclusion of MYC and BCL2 CNVs from HGBL-DH/TH and highlight the ability of a molecular-based classification system to identify tumors with shared biology that FISH and IHC fail to fully capture.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology