Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: sub-classification by massive parallel quantitative RT-PCR.

Research paper by Xuemin X Xue, Naiyan N Zeng, Zifen Z Gao, Ming-Qing MQ Du

Indexed on: 25 Nov '14Published on: 25 Nov '14Published in: Laboratory Investigation


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a heterogeneous entity with remarkably variable clinical outcome. Gene expression profiling (GEP) classifies DLBCL into activated B-cell like (ABC), germinal center B-cell like (GCB), and Type-III subtypes, with ABC-DLBCL characterized by a poor prognosis and constitutive NF-κB activation. A major challenge for the application of this cell of origin (COO) classification in routine clinical practice is to establish a robust clinical assay amenable to routine formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) diagnostic biopsies. In this study, we investigated the possibility of COO-classification using FFPE tissue RNA samples by massive parallel quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). We established a protocol for parallel qRT-PCR using FFPE RNA samples with the Fluidigm BioMark HD system, and quantified the expression of the COO classifier genes and the NF-κB targeted-genes that characterize ABC-DLBCL in 143 cases of DLBCL. We also trained and validated a series of basic machine-learning classifiers and their derived meta classifiers, and identified SimpleLogistic as the top classifier that gave excellent performance across various GEP data sets derived from fresh-frozen or FFPE tissues by different microarray platforms. Finally, we applied SimpleLogistic to our data set generated by qRT-PCR, and the ABC and GCB-DLBCL assigned showed the respective characteristics in their clinical outcome and NF-κB target gene expression. The methodology established in this study provides a robust approach for DLBCL sub-classification using routine FFPE diagnostic biopsies in a routine clinical setting.

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