Purpose: To characterize AIDS-associated lymphoid malignancies in children.
Patients and methods: We studied lymphomas and B-cell leukemias from 25 children with AIDS for immunoglobulin heavy chain gene clonality, c-myc oncogene abnormalities, and presence of HIV and Epstein-Barr virus.
Results: Monoclonal immunoglobulin gene rearrangements were identified in 22 of 23 cases tested, the single exception being one of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. Immunoglobulin gene/c-myc translocations were found in 3 of 4 cases of B (surface immunoglobulin-positive)-acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 8 of 11 small noncleaved cell lymphomas, and 1 of 5 large cell lymphomas. Mutations of c-myc were found in 2 of 13 small noncleaved cell lymphomas, 1 of 2 Epstein-Barr virus-positive mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue neoplasms, and 1 of 4 Epstein-Barr virus-negative B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Six small noncleaved cell lymphomas, both mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue neoplasms and one of large cell lymphoma had high levels of Epstein-Barr virus in tumor tissue. Hodgkin's disease tissue and B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia tumors were negative for EBV. Proviral HIV-1 was not detected in any tumor.
Conclusions: AIDS-associated lymphoid malignancies in children appear to have a different distribution of histologic subtypes than adult HIV-infected individuals, fewer large cell lymphomas occur in children. The small noncleaved cell lymphomas exhibit a lower frequency as well as different locations of c-myc mutations than AIDS-associated small noncleaved cell lymphomas in adults.