Immunohistochemical pattern of c-MYC protein judged as “+/(weak)+/−” by a new notation correlates with MYC gene nontranslocation in large B-cell lymphoma

Fumiyoshi Fujishima, Hiroki Katsushima, Noriko Fukuhara, Sachiko Konosu-Fukaya, Yasuhiro Nakamura, Hajime Usubuchi, Satoko Sato, Yasunori Ota, Akiko Yashima-Abo, Tomohiro Nakamura, Naoki Nakaya, Hideo Harigae, Hironobu Sasano, Ryo Ichinohasama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Immunohistochemistry is not only the most important tool for pathologists to establish a final diagnosis, but it can also inform decisions regarding optimal treatment methods. However, there is no universal standard notation for expressing immunohistochemical findings. For a diagnosis of malignant lymphoma, it is important to confirm the presence or absence of MYC translocation and communicate these results to a clinical audience. However, the criteria for selecting cases for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis to confirm MYC translocation are ill defined. We therefore devised a notation that we termed proportion of immunoreactivity/expression for immunohistochemistry (PRIME notation) based on the cellular proportion showing different antigen-antibody reactivity in immunohistochemistry (CPAR) and used it to examine the relationship between MYC translocation and the proportion of c-MYC+ lymphoma cells. We reviewed 82 cases diagnosed as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or diffuse large B-cell lymphoma coexisting with grade 3A to 3B follicular lymphoma. The most common notation was “+/(weak)+/−” (49/82 cases [59.8%]); cases that were CPAR positive, weakly positive, and negative for tumor cells each accounted for about one-third of the total. Unexpectedly, no MYC translocation was observed by FISH in this group. Thus, FISH is not needed even if more than half of cells are c-MYC positive by PRIME notation. This is the first report describing a correspondence between immunohistochemical findings and chromosomal abnormality, reflecting findings at the protein and gene levels, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar


  • CPAR
  • FISH
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • MYC
  • PRIME notation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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