The use of high-resolution aCGH allows for whole genome screening for copy number changes even in tumors that rarely produce metaphase spreads. The aim of this study was to characterize the aCGH findings in B-CLL, lung MALT lymphoma, Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia (WM), Multiple Myeloma (MM) and human myeloma cell lines (HMCLs). This study includes 301 B-cell malignancy samples (19 B-CLL, 19 MALT, 20 WM, 48 HMCLs and 195 MM) and an additional 76 melanoma samples. We found MM to have the highest number of abnormalities per karyotype, with 15.8±7.5 (mean ± SD) and 20.6±17.0 in hyperdiploid (H) and non-hyperdiploid MM (NH), respectively. The remaining diseases have a significantly lower number of abnormalities: 5.5±4.5 in B-CLL, 3.5±1.96 in MALT and 4±3.5 in WM. Aneuploidy and biallelic deletions were rare events in these three diseases. B-CLL has two highly recurrent abnormalities involving 11q22-q23 (29%) and 13q14.3 (33%). A minimal deleted region (MDR) of ∼108Kb was identified at 11q comprising ACAT1, NPAT and ATM. In 13q, a 280Kb MDR was recognized, including TRIM13, KCNRG, mir-15a and mir-16. The subgroup of MALT patients with t(11;18) had very few abnormalities and the majority are a consequence of unbalanced translocations (MALT, BIRC2 and BIRC3 deletions). In the remaining MALT samples, trisomy 3 and 18q gain were the most common abnormalities (31% each). The 6q16.3-q26 deletion was the most common abnormality in WM (45%). In 4 of 9 patients with 6q deletion there was an associated 6p gain. The same observation was found in 2 of 3 patients with 8p loss and concomitant 8q gain. Interestingly, 6p and 8q gain were not identified in patients without 6q and 8p deletions. Deletion of 17p was the most common recurrent abnormality observed in our panel of B-cell cancers, being identified in MM, WM and B-CLL. In B-CLL and WM, small mono and biallelic deletions of the NF-kB negative regulators, TRAF3 and NFKBIA, were identified, suggesting a potential involvement of this pathway in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Hierarchical clustering of the aCGH data in MM identified 3 distinct groups, NH-MM, H-MM and MM with deletions of chromosome 13 and 14. Interestingly, MGUS and SMM were more commonly clustered with H-MM. Several sub-clusters were observed in the H-MM group, the most prominent being made up exclusively of patients from TC class D1. This cluster was characterized by the presence of trisomy 11 and 21. The 11q13 TC group clustered and was highly associated with 11q amplifications due to unbalanced t(11;14). The 6q deletion defined a cluster with WM, MM and Melanoma patient with that abnormality. In the case of B-CLL and MALT, the only identifiable clusters were observed in cases with 13q loss and trisomy 3, respectively. These results highlight both, the common and unique aCGH findings in several B-cell cancers. By hierarchical clustering, MM was significantly divergent from the rest of the B-cell diseases. Due to the limited number of abnormalities in B-CLL/MALT/WM, the clustering of these groups was exclusively based on the common abnormalities. The use of aCGH has refined the MDRs of 11q and 13q in B-CLL. Additionally, the identification of deletions affecting the NF-kB pathway in B-CLL and WM has prompted us to hypothesize on the importance of constitutive NF-κB activation in these diseases.

Author notes

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.