Leukemia & lymphoma

Flow cytometric analysis of SOX11: a new diagnostic method for distinguishing B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma from mantle cell lymphoma.

PMID 25120048


The differential diagnosis between mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (B-CLL/SLL) is essential, since MCL usually has a more aggressive clinical course. By flow cytometry both MCL and B-CLL are CD19, CD20 and usually CD5 positive. However, ambiguities in other immune phenotypic markers of these lymphoma entities sometimes complicate the flow cytometric differential diagnosis. We here demonstrate that the transcription factor SOX11, which is highly up-regulated in most MCL, can be analyzed by flow cytometry. SOX11 protein could be consistently detected in ex vivo isolated MCL but not in B-CLL/SLL. Flow cytometry also enabled protein quantification, and SOX11 protein levels correlated with mRNA expression. We suggest that implementing detection of SOX11 in diagnostic flow cytometry would be beneficial for accurate and reliable diagnosis of MCL, especially for distinguishing cases of MCL and B-CLL/SLL with aberrant immune phenotypes, and for cases of rare cyclin D1 negative MCL.