Clonal selection in the bone marrow involvement of follicular lymphoma

Á Bognár, B. Csernus, C. Bödör, L. Reiniger, Á Szepesi, E. Tóth, L. Kopper, A. Matolcsy

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To characterize the pathways of bone marrow (BM) involvement of follicular lymphoma (FL), we performed morphological and immunophenotypical analysis of tumor cells from lymph nodes (LNs) and corresponding BMs in 21 patients with FL. In three cases, genealogical trees were constructed based on the immunoglobulin variable region heavy chain (IgVH) gene sequences of tumor clones from LNs and BMs. Results showed that FLs within the BMs display identical or lower cytological grades than in the LNs. In the majority of cases, different proportions of tumor cells expressed bcl-2, CD10 and Ki67 in LNs and BMs. Tumor cells in the BM showed ongoing somatic hypermutation of the IgVH genes; the distribution of these mutations was highly consistent with antigen selection. The topology of the genealogical trees revealed that different subclones populate the LN and BM and BM infiltration may occur at different points of the clonal evolution of FL. Early descendants of the original tumor clone and derivatives of diversified tumor clones may invade the BM. These results suggest that the BM involvement of FL is associated with intensive clonal selection of tumor cells, and the BM provides a microenvironment similar to the germinal centers of LNs, where tumor cells retain their biological nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1656-1662
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005



  • Bone marrow involvement
  • Clonal selection
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Somatic hypermutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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