Haematologica 2018 02 22() pii 10.3324/haematol.2017.184325
Mantle cell lymphoma patients have variable clinical courses, ranging from indolent cases not requiring immediate treatment to aggressive, rapidly progressing diseases. Thus, diagnostic tools capable to stratify patients according to their risk of relapse and death are warranted. The study included 83 samples from the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi MCL-0208 clinical trial. Through gene expression profiling and quantitative real-time PCR we analyzed 46 peripheral blood and 43 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded lymph node samples. A prediction model to classify patients was developed. By analyzing the transcriptome of 27 peripheral blood samples, two subgroups characterized by a differential expression of genes from the B-cell receptor pathway (B-cell receptorlow and B-cell receptorhigh) were identified. The prediction model based on the quantitative real-time PCR values of six representative genes (AKT3, BCL2, BTK, CD79B, PIK3CD, and SYK), was used to classify the 83 cases (43 B-cell receptorlow and 40 B-cell receptorhigh). The B-cell receptorhigh signature associated with shorter progression-free survival (P=0.0074), selected the mantle cell lymphoma subgroup with the shortest progression-free survival and overall survival (P=0.0014 and P=0.029) in combination with high (>30%) Ki-67 staining, and was independent predictor of short progression-free survival along with the Mantle Cell Lymphoma International Prognostic Index score. Moreover, the clinical impact of the 6-gene signature related to the B-cell receptor pathway identified mantle cell lymphoma subset with shorter progression-free survival intervals also in an external independent mantle cell lymphoma cohort homogenously treated with different schedules. In conclusion, this 6-gene signature associates with a poor clinical response in the context of the MCL-0208 clinical trial. NCT02354313.