Few reports correlating specific cytogenetic abnormalities with distinct subtypes of lymphoma have performed serial studies at diagnosis and at tumor recurrence or progression. In our file of 325 cytogenetically analyzed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients studied over the past decade, 43 had serial biopsies, 39 of whom had at least two successful preparations; of the 43, nine had one and 32 had two or more cytogenetically abnormal specimens. In this study, we correlated cytogenetic, histopathologic, molecular, and clinical parameters. Patients with low-grade lymphomas were as likely as patients with intermediate- or high-grade lymphomas to acquire new chromosomal abnormalities with time (16 of 23 patients as compared with 7 of 16; P2 = .11, chi 2 test). In four patients, originally diagnosed indolent disease progressed to aggressive disease; all had t(14;18), all gained additional chromosomal abnormalities with disease progression, and three of the four expressed abnormalities associated with disease progression and/or short survival: der(18), +7, and/or +12. Cytogenetic results from early disease were compared with those obtained later in disease: in the t(14;18) group, the most common abnormalities were +7 (eight patients) and der(18) (five patients), both seen later in disease. The most common abnormalities in patients without t(14;18) were 6q deletions; they were seen in both early and late disease and were associated with significantly shorter survivals (P2 = .0014) compared with all patients without 6q deletions. Secondary chromosomal abnormalities, observed after at least one previous abnormal study, were seen in 19 of 22 t(14;18) patients and in 11 of 21 patients without t(14;18) and were associated with a poor survival (P2 = .13) compared with patients without any secondary chromosomal abnormalities. Chromosome 1 abnormalities were seen in almost half of the patients and were observed in initial specimens and early in disease as well as late in disease and as secondary abnormalities; 1q involvement was more frequent than 1p (15 versus eight patients) and was significantly associated with poor survival only in patients with intermediate-/high- grade disease; the most common breakpoints were 1q21-q22 (nine patients) and 1p36 (six patients). Breakpoints at 2q21 and 3q27-q29 were limited to patients with t(14;18) and were almost exclusively secondary in nature. Molecular studies in 24 of our patients showed discrepancies with the cytogenetic results in only three patients: two had t(14;18) but no molecular rearrangements while two patients had no visible t(14;18) but were positive for major breakpoint region (MBR) rearrangement. The presence of MBR or minor breakpoint cluster (MCR) rearrangement had no apparent effect on survival.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

This content is only available as a PDF.