Loss of heterozygosity at chromosome 9p21 is a frequent finding in enteropathy-type T-cell lymphoma.
Genetic alterations in enteropathy-type T-cell lymphoma (ETL) are unknown so far. In this series, 38 cases of ETL were analyzed by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). CGH revealed chromosomal imbalances in 87% of cases analyzed, with recurrent gains of genetic material involving chromosomes 9q (in 58% of cases), 7q (24%), 5q (18%), and 1q (16%). Recurrent losses of genetic material occurred on chromosomes 8p and 13q (24% each), and 9p (18%). In this first systematic genetic study on ETL, chromosomal gains on 9q (minimal overlapping region 9q33-q34) were found to be highly characteristic of ETL. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis on four cases of ETL, using a probe for 9q34, indicated frequent and multiple gains of chromosomal material at 9q34 (up to nine signals per case). Among 16 patients with ETL who survived initial disease presentation, patients with more than three chromosomal gains or losses (n = 11) followed a worse clinical course than those with three or less imbalances (n = 5). The observation of similar genetic alterations in ETL and in primary gastric (n = 4) and colonic (n = 1) T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified, is suggestive of a genetic relationship of gastrointestinal T-cell lymphomas at either localization.