The diagnosis of malignant lymphoma is a recognized difficult area in histopathology. Therefore, detection of clonality in a suspected lymphoproliferation is a valuable diagnostic criterion. We have developed primer sets for the detection of rearrangements in the B- and T-cell receptor genes as reliable tools for clonality assessment in lymphoproliferations suspected for lymphoma. In this issue of Leukemia, the participants of the BIOMED-2 Concerted Action CT98-3936 report on the validation of the newly developed clonality assays in various disease entities. Clonality was detected in 99% of all B-cell malignancies and in 94% of all T-cell malignancies, whereas the great majority of reactive lesions showed polyclonality. The combined BIOMED-2 results are summarized in a guideline, which can now be implemented in routine lymphoma diagnostics. The use of this standardized approach in patients with a suspect lymphoproliferation will result in improved diagnosis of malignant lymphoma.
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