Kremer, M; Ott, G; Nathrath, M; Specht, K; Stecker, K; Alexiou, C; Quintanilla-Martinez, L; Fend, F
Primary extramedullary plasmacytoma and multiple myeloma: phenotypic differences revealed by immunohistochemical analysis.
Primary extramedullary plasmacytomas are infrequent, typically solitary, plasma cell neoplasms that generally pursue an indolent clinical course but may, rarely, convert to multiple myeloma. Phenotypic differences between these two entities are not well defined. Twenty-eight cases of primary extramedullary plasmacytoma and 26 cases of both medullary (n = 17) and extramedullary (n = 9) multiple myeloma were analysed for the expression of proteins known to play a role in the biology of multiple myeloma. Immunohistochemistry was performed on paraffin wax sections using antibodies against cyclin D1, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, p27, p21, p53, MIB1, CD20, and CD56. Twenty-three extramedullary plasmacytomas were localized in the upper aerodigestive tract, four in the lymph nodes, and one in the testis. There was a strong male predominance (M : F = 6 : 1). None of the patients died from the disease or progressed to multiple myeloma (mean follow-up 50 months). Nine patients developed local relapse and one patient's tumour evolved into a B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In contrast to both intra- and extra-medullary multiple myeloma, extramedullary plasmacytoma showed absence of cyclin D1 (p< 0.001) and infrequent expression of CD56 (p< 0.001). Furthermore, extramedullary plasmacytomas were characterized by weaker staining for Bcl-2 protein and rare overexpression of p21 and p53. In comparison to extramedullary multiple myeloma, extramedullary plasmacytoma showed a more mature morphology and lower proliferation indices (p = 0.008). There was no association between the phenotypic parameters investigated and clinical outcome in extramedullary plasmacytoma. In summary, extramedullary plasmacytoma and multiple myeloma show significant immunophenotypic differences, some of which may be of both diagnostic utility and biological relevance.