Cell of origin in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in systemic lupus erythematosus: Molecular and clinical factors associated with survival

Basile Tessier-Cloutier, David D.W. Twa, Eva Baecklund, Randy Gascoyne, Nathalie A. Johnson, Carin Backlin, Diane L. Kamen, Ann E. Clarke, Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman, Jennifer L.F. Lee, Pedro Farinha, Sasha Bernatsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background SLE is associated with increased risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). DLBCL is routinely classified by cell of origin (COO), with germinal centre B-cell (GCB) being more common and indicating better prognosis in the general population. We studied COO subtyping in patients with SLE diagnosed with DLBCL and their survival. Patients and methods We evaluated 20 cases of SLE with DLBCL. Immunohistochemistry analysis was performed (BCL2, MYC, BCL6, CD10, CD20, FOXP1, GCET1, MUM1) in tissue microarrays. We examined associations between molecular and clinical features, including overall survival. Results Of the 20 DLBCL SLE cases, 12/20 cases (60%) were classified as non-GCB using Hans or Choi algorithms. MYC and BCL2 protein expression was positive in 6/20 (30%) and 8/20 (40%) SLE cases, respectively, with 2/20 (10%) co-expressing both markers. Seven (7/20) had only extranodal involvement at DLBCL diagnosis. As expected, non-GCB cases had worse survival. Cases presenting exclusively with extranodal disease were associated with shorter SLE duration and better survival despite higher BCL2 protein expression. Conclusions We present novel data characterising DLBCL in SLE. Sixty per cent of the DLBCL in patients with SLE were non-GCB. The nodal and extranodal distribution in SLE was similar to what is known in the general population, but extranodal disease occurred more often with short SLE duration and was associated with longer overall survival. More research on cancer in SLE is the key to further understanding the complex interplay between cancer and the immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000324
JournalLupus Science and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • cell-of-origin
  • diffuse large b-cell lymphoma
  • epidemiology
  • immunohistochemistry
  • systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cell of origin in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in systemic lupus erythematosus: Molecular and clinical factors associated with survival'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this