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Title: ALK+ lymphoma: clinico-pathological findings and outcome
Authors: Falini, B ×
Pileri, S
Zinzani, P L
Carbone, A
Zagonel, V
Wolf-Peeters, C
Verhoef, Gregor
Menestrina, F
Todeschini, G
Paulli, M
Lazzarino, M
Giardini, R
Aiello, A
Foss, H D
Araujo, I
Fizzotti, M
Pelicci, P G
Flenghi, L
Martelli, M F
Santucci, A #
Issue Date: Apr-1999
Series Title: Blood vol:93 issue:8 pages:2697-706
Abstract: A distinct pathologic entity (ALK+ lymphoma) that is characterized by expression of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) protein has recently emerged within the heterogeneous group of CD30(+) anaplastic large-cell lymphomas. Information on clinical findings and treatment outcome of ALK+ lymphoma is still limited, and no data are available concerning the value of the International Prognostic Index when applied to this homogeneous disease entity. To clarify these issues, a recently developed monoclonal antibody ALKc (directed against the cytoplasmic portion of ALK) was used to detect expression of the ALK protein in paraffin-embedded biopsies from 96 primary, systemic T/null anaplastic large-cell lymphomas, and the ALK staining pattern was correlated with morphological features, clinical findings, risk factors (as defined by the International Prognostic Index), and outcome in 78 patients (53 ALK+ and 25 ALK-). Strong cytoplasmic and/or nuclear ALK positivity was detected in 58 of 96 ALCL cases (60.4%), and it was associated with a morphological spectrum (common type, 82.7%; giant cell, 3.5%; lymphohistiocytic, 8. 6%; and small cell, 5.2%) that reflected the ratio of large anaplastic elements (usually showing cytoplasmic and nuclear ALK positivity) to small neoplastic cells (usually characterized by nucleus-restricted ALK expression). Clinically, ALK+ lymphoma mostly occurred in children and young adults (mean age, 22.01 +/- 10.87 years) with a male predominance (male/female [M/F] ratio, 3.0) that was particularly striking in the second-third decades of life (M/F ratio, 6.5) and usually presented as an aggressive, stage III-IV disease, frequently associated with systemic symptoms (75%) and extranodal involvement (60%), especially skin (21%), bone (17%), and soft tissues (17%). As compared with ALK+ lymphoma, ALK- cases occurred in older individuals (mean age, 43.33 +/- 16.15 years) and showed a lower M/F ratio (0.9) as well as lower incidence of stage III-IV disease and extranodal involvement at presentation. Overall survival of ALK+ lymphoma was far better than that of ALK- anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (71% +/- 6% v 15% +/- 11%, respectively). However, within the good prognostic category of ALK+ lymphoma, survival was 94% +/- 5% for the low/low intermediate risk group (age-adjusted International Prognostic Index, 0 to 1) and 41% +/- 12% for the high/high intermediate risk group (age-adjusted International Prognostic Index, >/=2). Multivariate analysis identified ALK expression and the International Prognostic Index as independent variables that were able to predict survival among T/null primary, systemic anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. Thus, we suggest that such parameters should be taken into consideration for the design of future clinical trials.
URI: 
ISSN: 0006-4971
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Hematology Section (-)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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