This study investigated the epidemiological and clinical peculiarities of BCL2 and BCL6 rearrangement in patients with high grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBL) from Taiwan, compared with data from Western countries. Two hundred and eighty-two DLBCL cases from Taipei Medical University-affiliated hospitals (n = 179) and Tri-Service General Hospital (n = 103) were enrolled for this study. From the 282, 47 (16.7%) had MYC translocation; 24 of these harbored concurrent BCL2 and/or BCL6 translocation (double-hit, DH or triple-hit, TH). Twelve DH-HGBL cases had simultaneous MYC and BCL6 translocations, 8 harbored MYC and BCL2 rearrangement, while the remaining 4 patients exhibited TH. Together, 66.7% of DH/TH-HGBL patients were BCL6 rearrangement positive. Among these BCL6-rearranged DH/TH-HGBL patients, only 6 (37.5%) overexpressed MYC and BCL6 proteins simultaneously, indicating that MYC-BCL6 co-overexpression may not be plausible surrogate biomarker for screening BCL6-rearranged DH-HGBL. By the end of year 5, all patients with TH-HGBL, BCL2 DH-HGBL and all but one BCL6 DH-HGBL cases had expired or were lost to follow-up. Progression-free survival (PFS) was longer for the non-DH/THHGBL group compared with the DH/TH-HGBL group. While the patients with BCL2 DH-HGBL were lost to follow-up by day 800, their remaining TH-HGBL and BCL6 DH-HGBL peers exhibited very poor PFS, regardless of age strata. More so, patients with BCL6 rearrangement were 5.5-fold more likely associated with extranodal involvement compared with their BCL2-rearranged peers. Moreover, ~60.0% of the BCL6-rearranged DH-HGBL cases were non-GCB, suggesting that including screening for BCL6 rearrangement in patients with the non-GCB phenotype may aid medical decisionmaking and therapeutic strategy. Contrary to contemporary data from western countries, 2 in every 3 patients with DH/TH-HGBL in Taiwan harbor BCL6 rearrangement. Consistent with present findings, we recommend mandatory screening for BCL6 rearrangement in patients with aggressive HGBL in Taiwan.
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