Image_2_Cell-of-Origin Subtyping of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma by Using a qPCR-based Gene Expression Assay on Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded Tissues.PNG
The well-established cell-of-origin (COO) algorithm categorizes diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) into activated B-cell-like (ABC) and germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) subgroups through gene expression profiling. We aimed to develop and validate a qPCR-based gene expression assay to determine the COO subgroups of DLBCL with formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue. We first established a DLBCL transcriptome database of 1,016 samples retrieved from three published datasets (GSE10846, GSE22470, and GSE31312). With this database, we identified a qPCR-based 32-gene expression signature (DLBCL-COO assay) that is significantly associated with the COO subgroups. The DLBCL-COO assay was further validated in a cohort of 160 Chinese DLBCL patients. Biopsy samples from DLBCL patients with paired FFPE and fresh frozen tissue were collected to assign COO subtypes based on the immunohistochemistry (IHC) algorithm (Han's algorithm), DLBCL-COO assay, and global gene expression profiling with RNA-seq. For 111 paired FFPE and fresh DLBCL samples, the concordance between the IHC, qPCR, and RNA-seq methods was 77.5% and 91.9%, respectively. The DLBCL-COO assay demonstrated a significantly superior concordance of COO determination with the “gold standard” RNA-seq compared with the IHC assignment with Han's algorithm (P = 0.005). Furthermore, the overall survival of GCB patients defined by the DLBCL-COO assay was significantly superior to that of ABC patients (P = 0.023). This effect was not seen when the tumors were classified by the IHC algorithm. The DLBCL-COO assay provides flexibility and accuracy in DLBCL subtype characterization. These findings demonstrated that the DLBCL-COO assay might serve as a useful tool for guiding prognostic and therapeutic options for DLBCL patients.