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Characterization of DLBCL with a PMBL gene expression signature

Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBL) is a type of aggressive B-cell lymphoma that typicallyaffects young adults, characterized by presence of a bulky anterior mediastinal mass. Lymphomas withgene expression features of PMBL have been described in non-mediastinal sites, raising questions abouthow these tumors should be classified.Here, we investigated whether these "non-mediastinal PMBLs" are indeed PMBLs or instead represent adistinct group within DLBCL. From a cohort of 325 de novo DLBCL cases, we identified tumors frompatients without evidence of anterior mediastinal involvement that expressed a PMBL expression signature(nm-PMBLsig-pos, n=16, 5%). The majority of these tumors expressed MAL and CD23 – proteins typicallyobserved in bona fide PMBL (bf-PMBL). Evaluation of clinical features of nm-PMBLsig-pos cases revealedclose associations with DLBCL, and the majority displayed a germinal center B-cell-like cell-of-origin(GCB). In contrast to bf-PMBL, nm-PMBLsig-pos patients presented at an older age, did not show pleuraldisease, and bone/bone marrow involvement was observed in three cases. However, while clinicallydistinct from bf-PMBL, nm-PMBL-sig-pos tumors resembled bf-PMBL at the molecular level with upregulationof immune response, JAK-STAT, and NF-kB signatures. Mutational analysis revealed frequent somatic genemutations in SOCS1, IL4R, ITPKB and STAT6, as well as CD83 and BIRC3, with the latter genes beingsignificantly more frequently affected than in GCB-DLBCL and bf-PMBL.Our data establish nm-PMBLsig-pos lymphomas as a group of DLBCL with distinct phenotypic and geneticfeatures, and potential implications for gene expression- and mutation-based subtyping of aggressive Bcell lymphoma and related targeted therapies.

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Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001007006 22