National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Objective: To evaluate stromal cells of the bone marrow microenvironment (BMM) in bone marrow trephine biopsy (BMTB) specimens, with a focus on fibronectin, tumor necrosis factor- alpha (TNF-α) and L-selectin in Non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients, before and after therapy. Materials and Methods: A total of 80 de novo NHL patients, 64 with B-cell lymphomas 80% , (follicular cell lymphoma (FCL) in 32, chronic lymphocytic leukemia/ small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) in 12, and diffuse large cell lymphoma in 20) and 16 with T-cell lymphomas (20%) all diagnosed as T-Lymphoblastic lymphomas, were evaluated before and after therapy. For comparison, 25 age and sex matched BM donors, were included as a control group. BMTB material and BM aspirates were taken for morphological assessment of stromal cells, the plasma of these samples being examined for TNFα and L-selectin by ELISA, and fibronectin by radial immunodiffusion (RID). Results: BM stromal cells comprising reticular macrophages and fibroblasts were elevated in 53.3% of NHL cases at diagnosis, while BM fibronectin levels were decreased and BM TNFα and L-selectin were higher than in controls (p<0.05). In NHL cases, elevated values of BM TNFα and BM L-selectin were associated with signs of aggressive disease, including >1 extra nodal sites, detectable B symptoms, high grade, BM and CNS invasion, and a high International prognostic index (IPI) (p<0.05). Conclusion: BMM components, TNFα, L-selectin and fibronectin, in NHL can be useful in evaluating disease activity, extent and response to treatment and as prognostic markers according to the IPI.