Relationship between the mutational status of VH genes and pathogenesis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in Richter's syndrome

B. Timár, Z. Fülöp, B. Csernus, C. Angster, Á Bognár, Á Szepesi, L. Kopper, A. Matolcsy

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Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) may develop diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBL), also known as Richter's syndrome. Mutational status of immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy-chain variable region (VH) genes have prognostic impact in CLL. Patients with mutated VH genes have a stable disease, whereas patients with unmutated VH gene have more aggressive disease. The mutational status of CLLs that transform to DLBL is unknown. To reveal whether Richter's syndrome occurs in CLLs with mutated or unmutated VH genes, we have performed mutational analysis on serial specimens from eight patients. CLL and DLBL tumorclones were identical in five cases and they were different in three cases. Six CLLS expressed unmutated and two cases expressed mutated VH genes. In five of the six unmutated CLLS, the DLBL clones evolved from CLL tumorclones and the VH genes expressed by DLBLs were also unmutated. In one unmutated and two mutated CLLs, the DLBLS expressed mutated VH genes, but in these three cases the DLBL tumorclones developed as independent secondary neoplasm. These results suggest that Richter's syndrome may develop in both mutated or unmutated CLLs, but clonal transformation of CLL to DLBL occur only in the unmutated subgroup of CLL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-330
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004



  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Richter's syndrome
  • Somatic mutation
  • V gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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