Blood. 2002 Oct 15;100(8):2996-3001

Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL) is characterized by t(9;14)(p13;q32) in 50% of patients who lack paraproteinemia. Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM), which has an immunoglobulin M (IgM) paraproteinemia, is classified as an LPL. Rare reports have suggested that WM sometimes is associated with 14q23 translocations, deletions of 6q, and t(11;18)(q21;q21). We tested for these abnormalities in the clonal cells of WM patients. We selected patients with clinicopathologic diagnosis of WM (all had IgM levels greater than 1.5 g/dL). Southern blot assay was used to detect legitimate and illegitimate IgH switch rearrangements. In addition to conventional cytogenetic (CC) and multicolor metaphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (M-FISH) analyses, we used interphase FISH to screen for t(9;14)(p13;q32) and other IgH translocations, t(11;18)(q21;q21), and 6q21 deletions. Genomic stability was also assessed using chromosome enumeration probes for chromosomes 7, 9, 11, 12, 15, and 17 in 15 patients. There was no evidence of either legitimate or illegitimate IgH rearrangements by Southern blot assay (n = 12). CC (n = 37), M-FISH (n = 5), and interphase FISH (n = 42) failed to identify IgH or t(11;18) translocations. Although tumor cells from most patients were diploid for the chromosomes studied, deletions of 6q21 were observed in 42% of patients. In contrast to LPL tumors that are not associated with paraproteinemia and that have frequent t(9;14)(p13;q32) translocations, IgH translocations are not found in WM, a form of LPL tumor distinguished by IgM paraproteinemia. However, WM tumor cells, which appear to be diploid or near diploid, often have deletions of 6q21.

Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2006 Sep;169(2):150-3

IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (IgM MGUS) and Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM) are sometimes clinically difficult to distinguish. In our previous study, deletion of the long arm of chromosome 6 (6q) was found in about half of WM patients. To further clarify the area of minimal deletion at 6q (6q-) and to address the issue of whether 6q- occurs in IgM MGUS, 12 IgM MGUS and 38 WM patients were studied by fluorescence in situ hybridization using probes targeting different chromosomal segments of 6q. No 6q deletions were found in IgM MGUS samples. Of 38 successfully studied WM patients, 21 (55%) showed a deletion of 6q. The area of minimal deletion was between 6q23 and 6q24.3, but the deletion usually encompassed a large fragment of the 6q arm. These results indicate that 6q- can distinguish WM from IgM MGUS and is likely to be a secondary event.