Primary mediastinal (thymic) B-cell lymphoma is a high-grade non- Hodgkin's lymphoma with unique features. By using comparative genomic hybridization and interphase cytogenetics, 26 tumors were analyzed to identify genomic imbalances. Gains of chromosomal material were much more frequent than losses (110 v 10) and involved chromosomes 9p, 12q, and Xq (31% to 50%). Interestingly, gain of Xq coincided with gain of 9p. Distinct high-level amplifications were found in four subregions. In 2 cases, amplifications of proto-oncogene REL were shown by filter hybridization, indicating a possible pathogenic role of this gene. The characteristic pattern of chromosomal imbalances distinct from other B- cell lymphomas suggests a specific pathway of genetic changes associated with this lymphoma.

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