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CD3-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma relapses as CD3-negative large B-cell lymphoma: Loss of aberrant antigen expression in B-cell lymphoma after chemotherapy

CD3-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma relapses as CD3-negative large B-cell lymphoma: Loss of aberrant antigen expression in B-cell lymphoma after chemotherapy

Pathology Research and Practice 214(10): 1738-1744

Aberrant expression of CD3 on diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is rare, and its mechanism and biological significance are currently unclear. Herein we report a case of Epstein-Barr virus-negative, CD3-positive DLBCL in a 53 year-old male, who had a remote history of renal transplantation. After standard chemotherapy, the patient was in clinical remission. He relapsed three years later, but at this time with apparent loss of CD3 expression. PCR-based IGK gene rearrangement studies demonstrated clonal amplicons with an identical nucleotide size between the primary and secondary DLBCL, confirming the clonal relationship despite their phenotypic differences. To our knowledge, this is the first case of CD3-positive DLBCL that demonstrated a loss of aberrant CD3 on relapse. The chronologic change in phenotype seen in this case suggests that the source of the patient's lymphoma relapse may arise from either a quiescent subclone without CD3 expression, or from an upstream neoplastic precursor cell.

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Accession: 053573134

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PMID: 30025593

DOI: 10.1016/j.prp.2018.07.003

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