An unresolved issue in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is whether IGHV3-21 gene usage, in general, or the expression of stereotyped B-cell receptor immunoglobulin defining subset #2 (IGHV3-21/IGLV3-21), in particular, determines outcome for IGHV3-21-utilizing cases. We reappraised this issue in 8593 CLL patients of whom 437 (5%) used the IGHV3-21 gene with 254/437 (58%) classified as subset #2.Within subset #2, immunoglobulin heavy variable (IGHV)-mutated cases predominated, whereas non-subset #2/IGHV3-21 was enriched for IGHV-unmutated cases (P = .002). Subset #2 exhibited significantly shorter time-to-first-treatment (TTFT) compared with non-subset #2/IGHV3-21 (22 vs 60 months, P = .001). No such difference was observed between non-subset #2/IGHV3-21 vs the remaining CLL with similar IGHV mutational status. In conclusion, IGHV3-21 CLL should not be axiomatically considered a homogeneous entity with adverse prognosis, given that only subset #2 emerges as uniformly aggressive, contrasting non-subset #2/IGVH3-21 patients whose prognosis depends on IGHV mutational status as the remaining CLL.,
Department of Immunology

Baliakas, P, Agathangelidis, A, Hadzidimitriou, A, Sutton, L.-A, Minga, E, Tsanousa, A, … Stamatopoulos, K. (2015). Not all IGHV3-21 chronic lymphocytic leukemias are equal: Prognostic considerations. Blood, 125(5), 856–859. doi:10.1182/blood-2014-09-600874