Formalin fixed and paraffin wax embedded tissue from 85 well characterised cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease were studied using the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex technique. Among the non-Hodgkin's lymphomas all cases of B cell lymphoma were reactive with L26, a monoclonal antibody which is as yet an unclustered pan B cell reagent, with the exception of pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and malignant lymphoma plasmacytic. Eighteen well characterised cases of T cell lymphoma, selected to include tumours previously shown to exhibit cross reactivity with antibodies to fixation resistant B cell related antigens, were similarly studied. Neoplastic cells in all but one case were unstained by L26. Twenty seven cases of Hodgkin's disease were also examined. In five cases all Reed-Sternberg cells and their variants were strongly stained by L26; only a proportion of Reed-Sternberg cells and their variants were recognised in a further five cases. Monoclonal antibody L26 promises to be a valuable reagent for the diagnosis of malignant lymphoma in routinely fixed and paraffin wax embedded tissues. Its advantage lies in its sensitivity and greater B cell specificity than any of the B cell related reagents currently available for the study of malignant lymphoma in fixed tissues.
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