Immunohistochemical Approach to Genetic Subtyping of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

Andrew L. Feldman, Naoki Oishi, Rhett P. Ketterling, Stephen M. Ansell, Min Shi, Surendra Dasari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) can be classified genetically based on rearrangements (R) of the ALK, TP63, and/or DUSP22 genes. ALK-R defines a specific entity, ALK-positive ALCL, while DUSP22-R and TP63-R define subgroups of ALK-negative ALCLs with distinct clinicopathologic features. ALK-R and TP63-R produce oncogenic fusion proteins that can be detected by immunohistochemistry. ALK immunohistochemistry is an excellent surrogate for ALK-R and screening with p63 immunohistochemistry excludes TP63-R in two third of ALCLs. In contrast, DUSP22-R does not produce a fusion protein and its identification requires fluorescence in situ hybridization. However, DUSP22-R ALCL has a characteristic phenotype including negativity for cytotoxic markers and phospho-STAT3Y705. Recently, we also identified overexpression of the LEF1 transcription factor in DUSP22-R ALCL. Here, we sought to validate this finding and examine models for predicting DUSP22-R using immunohistochemistry for LEF1 and TIA1 or phospho-STAT3Y705. We evaluated these 3 markers in our original discovery cohort (n=45) and in an independent validation cohort (n=46) of ALCLs. The correlation between DUSP22-R and LEF1 expression replicated strongly in the validation cohort (P<0.0001). In addition, we identified and validated a strategy using LEF1 and TIA1 immunohistochemistry that predicted DUSP22-R with positive and negative predictive values of 100% after exclusion of indeterminate cases and would eliminate the need for fluorescence in situ hybridization in 65% of ALK-negative ALCLs. This approach had similar results in identifying DUSP22-R in the related condition, lymphomatoid papulosis. Together with previous data, these findings support a 4-marker immunohistochemistry algorithm using ALK, LEF1, TIA1, and p63 for genetic subtyping of ALCL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1490-1499
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • DUSP22
  • anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • chromosomal rearrangement
  • genetic subtyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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