Primary CD30(Ki-1)-positive anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) is considered by some to be a distinct clinicopathologic entity associated with the t(2;5) (p23;q35). However, the specificity of t(2;5) for ALCL has not been carefully studied. Therefore, we performed a detailed analysis of all cases of ALCL with abnormal cytogenetics results in the Nebraska Lymphoma Study Group registry, as well as all other cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with t(2;5) in the registry. We found the t(2;5) in only five of 10 cases of ALCL, four of whom were young patients. However, we also found the t(2;5) in 11 other cases of nonanaplastic lymphoma, including eight children with typical peripheral T-cell lymphomas of various types. The t(2;5) was also found in three older adults with B-cell lymphomas of various types. Thus, the t(2;5) was not specific for CD30+ ALCL. However, t(2;5) may define a clinicopathologic entity in children and young adults characterized by variable morphologies with a T-cell or indeterminate phenotype, CD30-positivity, nodal disease with frequent extranodal involvement, advanced stage, and an excellent response to therapy, including bone marrow transplantation for relapsed disease. The clinical relevance of the t(2;5) in older patients requires further study.

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