Follicular lymphoma t(14;18)-negative is genetically a heterogeneous disease

Blood Adv. 2020 Nov 24;4(22):5652-5665. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002944.


Fifty-five cases of t(14;18)- follicular lymphoma (FL) were genetically characterized by targeted sequencing and copy number (CN) arrays. t(14;18)- FL predominated in women (M/F 1:2); patients often presented during early clinical stages (71%), and had excellent prognoses. Overall, t(14;18)- FL displayed CN alterations (CNAs) and gene mutations carried by conventional t(14;18)+ FL (cFL), but with different frequencies. The most frequently mutated gene was STAT6 (57%) followed by CREBBP (49%), TNFRSF14 (39%), and KMT2D (27%). t(14;18)- FL showed significantly more STAT6 mutations and lacked MYD88, NOTCH2, MEF2B, and MAP2K1 mutations compared with cFL, nodal marginal zone lymphoma (NMZL), and pediatric-type FL (PTFL). We identified 2 molecular clusters. Cluster A was characterized by TNFRSF14 mutations/1p36 alterations (96%) and frequent mutations in epigenetic regulators, with recurrent loss of 6q21-24 sharing many features with cFL. Cluster B showed few genetic alterations; however, a subgroup with STAT6 mutations concurrent with CREBBP mutations/16p alterations without TNFRSF14 and EZH2 mutations was noted (65%). These 2 molecular clusters did not distinguish cases by inguinal localization, growth pattern, or presence of STAT6 mutations. BCL6 rearrangements were demonstrated in 10 of 45 (22%) cases and did not cluster together. Cases with predominantly inguinal presentation (20 of 50; 40%) had a higher frequency of diffuse growth pattern, STAT6 mutations, CD23 expression, and a lower number of CNAs, in comparison with noninguinal cases (5.1 vs 9.1 alterations per case; P < .05). STAT6 mutations showed a positive correlation with CD23 expression (P < .001). In summary, t(14;18)- FL is genetically a heterogeneous disorder with features that differ from cFL, NMZL, and PTFL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone*
  • Lymphoma, Follicular* / genetics
  • Mutation