Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma of Bone: An Analysis of Differentiation-Associated Antigens With Clinical Correlation

Am J Surg Pathol. 2003 Sep;27(9):1269-77. doi: 10.1097/00000478-200309000-00011.


Twenty-nine patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphomas presenting with bone involvement, including 18 localized primary bone lymphomas (group 1), 2 multifocal primary bone lymphomas (group 2), and 9 patients with extraskeletal disease at diagnosis (group 3), were studied. The tumors were subclassified according to the criteria of the WHO classification and evaluated by immunohistochemistry for expression of antigens associated with germinal center (GC) and non-GC stages of B-cell differentiation (bcl-6, CD10, MUM-1, VS38c, CD138, bcl-2, and CD44). The presence of a BCL-2/IgH gene rearrangement was investigated by polymerase chain reaction. All cases were characterized by similar clinicopathologic and morphologic features and had similarly good overall outcome. The patients (23 males, 6 females, median age 44 years) had tumors in long bones (14), axial skeleton (8), limb girdles (3), and multiple sites (4). Most tumors (24) were centroblastic, with multilobated cells in 12 cases. Almost half of the tumors (14 of 29, 48%) were bcl-6+CD10+ (GC-like), 9 of 29 cases (31%) were bcl-6+CD10- (indeterminate phenotype), and 6 of 29 cases (21%) were CD10-bcl-6- (post-GC like). The indeterminate phenotype was seen only in primary bone lymphoma. MUM-1 was frequently expressed in GC-like and non-GC-like categories. We found no evidence of plasmacytic differentiation by CD138, and VS38c immunoreactivity was distinctly rare (2 of 29 cases). CD44 was detected in 6 tumors, all CD10-. Bcl-2 was expressed by 70% of the tumors, but only 1 of 23 cases tested had a Bcl-2/JH rearrangement by polymerase chain reaction. A survival analysis showed that GC-like tumors had a longer overall survival duration compared with non-GC-like tumors (P = 0.0046). In conclusion, a GC-like immunophenotype characterizes roughly half of large B-cell lymphomas of bone and is associated with an improved survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Bone Neoplasms / genetics
  • Bone Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Bone Neoplasms / mortality
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genes, bcl-2 / genetics
  • Germinal Center / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / genetics
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / immunology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / mortality
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / genetics
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / immunology*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / mortality
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains