We studied DNA copy number changes in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma using comparative genomic hybridization analysis on 20 primary tumors and on 12 recurrent tumors excised after chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Twenty-nine (91%) of the cases showed abnormal copy number karyotypes. Chromosomal regions at X (41%), 1q (38%), 7 (31%), 3 (24%), 6p (21%), 11 (21%), 12 (21%), and 18 (21%) were most frequently gained, and the most common losses involved 6q (38%), X (21%), 1p (14%), and 8p (10%). High-level amplifications were observed at 6p23-ter, 10p12–14, 17p1l.2, 18q21-ter, and Xq22-ter, all but 18q appearing only in the recurrent tumors. Gains (median, 2; range, 0 to 10) were more frequent than losses (median, 1; range, 0 to 7; P = .0004). The median number of aberrations found in the recurrent tumors (6.5) was greater than that in the primary tumors (2; P = .01). The copy number changes found in the recurrent tumors were more random than those found in the primary tumors, which were mainly located in the most frequently affected regions. Our findings are in line with those observed using conventional cytogenetic analysis, but especially novel high-level amplifications were detected. Southern blot analysis showed BCL2 amplification, but not translocation t(14;18)(q32;q21), in cases in which a gain at 18q was detected by comparative genomic hybridization, which strongly suggests that, in addition to translocation, gene amplification is another mechanism for the overexpression of the BCL2 protein.

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