Waldenström macroglobulinemia neoplastic cells lack immunoglobulin heavy chain locus translocations but have frequent 6q deletions

Roelandt F.J. Schop, W. Michael Kuehl, Scott A. Van Wier, Gregory J. Ahmann, Tammy Price-Troska, Richard J. Bailey, Syed M. Jalal, Ying Qi, Robert A. Kyle, Philip R. Greipp, Rafael Fonseca

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162 Scopus citations


Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL) is characterized by t(9;14)(p13;q32) in 50% of patients who lack paraproteinemia. Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM), which has an immunoglobulin M (IgM) paraproteinemia, is classified as an LPL. Rare reports have suggested that WM sometimes is associated with 14q23 translocations, deletions of 6q, and t(11;18)(q21; q21). We tested for these abnormalities in the clonal cells of WM patients. We selected patients with clinicopathologic diagnosis of WM (all had IgM levels greater than 1.5 g/dL). Southern blot assay was used to detect legitimate and illegitimate IgH switch rearrangements. In addition to conventional cytogenetic (CC) and multicolor metaphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (M-FISH) analyses, we used interphase FISH to screen for t(9;14)(p13; q32) and other IgH translocations, t(11; 18)(q21;q21), and 6q21 deletions. Genomic stability was also assessed using chromosome enumeration probes for chromosomes 7, 9, 11, 12, 15, and 17 in 15 patients. There was no evidence of either legitimate or illegitimate IgH rearrangements by Southern blot assay (n = 12). CC (n = 37), M-FISH (n = 5), and interphase FISH (n = 42) failed to identify IgH or t(11;18) translocations. Although tumor cells from most patients were diploid for the chromosomes studied, deletions of 6q21 were observed in 42% of patients. In contrast to LPL tumors that are not associated with paraproteinemia and that have frequent t(9;14)(p13;q32) translocations, IgH translocations are not found in WM, a form of LPL tumor distinguished by IgM paraproteinemia. However, WM tumor cells, which appear to be diploid or near diploid, often have deletions of 6q21.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2996-3001
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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