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State of the Art and Future Needs in Cytogenetic/Molecular Genetics/Arrays in childhood lymphoma: Summary report of workshop at the First International Symposium on childhood and adolescent non-Hodgkin lymphoma, April 9, 2003, New York City, NY

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Abstract

Background

A significant number of studies describe the cytogenetics and molecular genetics of adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL); however, similar knowledge is lacking regarding pediatric NHL.

Methods

A workshop to discuss the “State of the Art and Future Needs in Cytogenetic/Molecular Genetics/Arrays” in pediatric NHL was held in conjunction with the First International Symposium on Childhood and Adolescent Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma on April 9, 2003 in New York City.

Results

Cytogenetic characteristics of pediatric NHL include 14q11.2 rearrangements in T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphomas (LBL), ALK rearrangements in anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCL), and CMYC translocations in both Burkitt and Burkitt-like lymphomas (BL/BLL). Pediatric diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is cytogenetically different from DLBCL in adults, suggesting a different disease in children. Microarray studies demonstrate three types of T-cell leukemia, the leukemic counterpart of LBL, that block T-cell differentiation at different stages of T-cell development, corresponding to LYL, TAL1, and HOX-expressing leukemias. ALCL cell lines have a unique expression profile compared to normal T-cells. Germinal centers of BL have CMYC expression signatures, indicating that CMYC expression is ectopic and does not reflect the physiology of the normal cell counterpart.

Conclusions

Additional cytogenetic, molecular and microarray investigations of NHL in children are vital to better understand these diseases, their etiology, and differences from adult NHL. A greater understanding of pediatric NHL will lead to disease-specific and patient-individualized therapies of these diseases. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2005;45:616–622. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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