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A multicolour flow cytometric assay for c-MYC protein in B-cell lymphoma
  1. Khaled Alayed1,2,
  2. Karen Schweitzer1,
  3. Amad Awadallah1,
  4. Shashirekha Shetty1,
  5. Samir Turakhia1,
  6. Howard Meyerson1
  1. 1 Department of Pathology, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Seidman Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  2. 2 Department of Pathology, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Howard Meyerson, Department of Pathology, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA; hjm2{at}


Aim Develop an objective assay to detect c-MYC protein expression using multiparametric flow cytometry (FCM) as an alternative to immunohistochemistry (IHC).

Methods 57 patient samples and 11 cell line samples were evaluated. Cell suspensions were obtained and c-MYC staining was performed in combination with CD45 and CD19 and, in some samples, CD10. The percentage of c-MYC+ cells by FCM was correlated with the percentage determined by IHC. The relationship between c-MYC protein expression and the presence of a c-MYC gene rearrangement in aggressive and high-grade lymphomas was also assessed.

Results c-MYC expression by FCM and IHC demonstrated a high degree of correlation in a training set of 33 patient cases, r=0.92, 11 cell line samples, r=0.81 and in a validation set of 24 aggressive and high-grade B-cell lymphomas, r=0.85. c-MYC gene was rearranged by fluorescence in situ hybridisation in 6/9 samples with high c-MYC expression (>40%) by FCM and 6/14 by IHC.

Conclusions We have developed a reliable multicolour FCM assay to detect c-MYC expression suitable for clinical laboratories that should be helpful to accurately quantify c-MYC expression in B-cell lymphomas.

  • c-MYC oncogene
  • flow cytometry
  • lymphoma

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  • Handling editor Mary Frances McMullin.

  • Contributors KA generated data, created figures and tables and helped write the manuscript. KS, AA, SS and ST helped generate data. HM conceived, created figures and tables and helped write the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required

  • Ethics approval UH/Case IRB.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement There are no unpublished data available from the study.