t(11;18) (q21;q21) is the most common translocation in MALT lymphomas

I. A. Auer, R. D. Gascoyne, J. M. Connors, F. E. Cotter, T. C. Greiner, W. G. Sanger, D. E. Horsman

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236 Scopus citations


Background: Low grade malignant lymphomas arising from mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) represent a distinct clinicopathological entity. The cytogenetic findings and molecular genetics of MALT lymphomas remain minimally defined. Cytogenetic studies infrequently constitute part of the diagnostic work-up of MALT lymphomas, most commonly due to small biopsy size and their extranodal localization. Only 28 MALT cases with a clonal karyotype have been published to date. A number of chromosomal abnormalities have been observed with the majority of the cases featuring trisomy of chromosome 3 which is present in up to 78% of the cases. Materials and methods: A total of 116 cases of MALT lymphoma were diagnosed at BCCA between 1988 and 1997. Eleven cases of pathologically confirmed MALT lymphomas were subjected to cytogenetic analysis at the time of the initial evaluation. Eight of 11 cases yielded successful cultures and the presence of a clonal karyotype using standard cytogenetic methodology. In addition, a single case of orbital MALT lymphoma with a clonal karyotype has been obtained through our consultative practice from University of Nebraska Medical Center. These nine cases of MALT lymphoma with a clonal karyotype are the subject of this report. Results and conclusion: In this study we report nine cytogenetically studied MALT lymphomas, three of which feature a novel t(11;18)(q21;q21) translocation which has also been observed in five other MALT cases described in the literature. This recurrent translocation is the most common translocation associated with MALT lymphomas being present in 33% (three of nine) of our cases and 18% (five of 28) of the previously published cases. The results suggest that a potentially important gene located at one of these breakpoints may be involved in the pathogenesis of MALT lymphomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-985
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1997


  • MALT lymphoma
  • t(11;18) translocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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