Next-generation sequencing of immunoglobulin gene rearrangements for clonality assessment: a technical feasibility study by EuroClonality-NGS

Leukemia. 2019 Sep;33(9):2227-2240. doi: 10.1038/s41375-019-0508-7. Epub 2019 Jun 13.


One of the hallmarks of B lymphoid malignancies is a B cell clone characterized by a unique footprint of clonal immunoglobulin (IG) gene rearrangements that serves as a diagnostic marker for clonality assessment. The EuroClonality/BIOMED-2 assay is currently the gold standard for analyzing IG heavy chain (IGH) and κ light chain (IGK) gene rearrangements of suspected B cell lymphomas. Here, the EuroClonality-NGS Working Group presents a multicentre technical feasibility study of a novel approach involving next-generation sequencing (NGS) of IGH and IGK loci rearrangements that is highly suitable for detecting IG gene rearrangements in frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue specimens. By employing gene-specific primers for IGH and IGK amplifying smaller amplicon sizes in combination with deep sequencing technology, this NGS-based IG clonality analysis showed robust performance, even in DNA samples of suboptimal DNA integrity, and a high clinical sensitivity for the detection of clonal rearrangements. Bioinformatics analyses of the high-throughput sequencing data with ARResT/Interrogate, a platform developed within the EuroClonality-NGS Working Group, allowed accurate identification of clonotypes in both polyclonal cell populations and monoclonal lymphoproliferative disorders. This multicentre feasibility study is an important step towards implementation of NGS-based clonality assessment in clinical practice, which will eventually improve lymphoma diagnostics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Gene Rearrangement / genetics*
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin / genetics*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains / genetics
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / genetics
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / genetics


  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains