Translocations involving the immunoglobulin heavy-chain genes are frequent in multiple myeloma (MM), which can be separated into two groups according to the chromosome number pattern. 14q32 translocations 14q32t are more frequent in hypodiploid than in hyperdiploid karyotypes. However, conventional cytogenetics (CC) misses cryptic translocations, especially t(4;14)(p16;q32). Furthermore, recent interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) studies found 14q32t in as many as 75% of MM cases. To identify in which CC group we failed to detect translocations, we designed a study by use of FISH with a dual-color IGH probe on previously R-banded metaphase cells, allowing the detection of both 14q32t and overall chromosomal abnormalities, in a new series of 55 MM with abnormal karyotypes: 4/29 hyperdiploid (14%) and 19/26 hypodiploid (73%) cases had a 14q32t. The t(4;14) was found in 2 hyperdiploid (7%) and 10 hypodiploid (39%) cases. We therefore confirm that 14q32t are much more frequent in hypodiploid than in hyperdiploid MM (P<0.0001) and that cryptic t(4;14)(p16;q32) is strongly associated with hypodiploid karyotypes (P<0.01). Through the use of this reliable assay, only 42% of MM had 14q32t.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.