Molecular diagnostics in follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a review.
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Follicular lymphoma is a low-grade, indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma characterized by the presence of the t(14;18) translocation. The detection of this translocation using polymerase chain reaction techniques has been increasingly studied. However, the diagnostic and prognostic value of detecting t(14;18) rearrangements has been questioned. Translocation has been identified in a significant proportion of healthy donors and patients with nonmalignant diseases. Clearance of t(14;18) rearrangements following conventional treatments, purging of bone marrow/peripheral blood stem cells, and transplantation is associated with improved long-term outcome of patients with follicular lymphoma. Until randomized studies confirm the clinical utility of polymerase chain reaction detection of the translocation, emphasis should be placed on improving the accuracy and reproducibility of polymerase chain reaction techniques, and standardizing assays among laboratories.
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