Ig gene (IG) clonality analysis has an important role in the distinction of benign and malignant B-cell lymphoid proliferations and is mostly performed with the conventional EuroClonality/BIOMED-2 multiplex PCR protocol and GeneScan fragment size analysis. Recently, the EuroClonality-NGS Working Group developed a method for next-generation sequencing (NGS)–based IG clonality analysis. Herein, we report the results of an international multicenter biological validation of this novel method compared with the gold standard EuroClonality/BIOMED-2 protocol, based on 209 specimens of reactive and neoplastic lymphoproliferations. NGS-based IG clonality analysis showed a high interlaboratory concordance (99%) and high concordance with conventional clonality analysis (98%) for the molecular conclusion. Detailed analysis of the individual IG heavy chain and kappa light chain targets showed that NGS-based clonality analysis was more often able to detect a clonal rearrangement or yield an interpretable result. NGS-based and conventional clonality analysis detected a clone in 96% and 95% of B-cell neoplasms, respectively, and all but one of the reactive cases were scored polyclonal. We conclude that NGS-based IG clonality analysis performs comparable to conventional clonality analysis. We provide critical parameters for interpretation and discuss a first step toward a quantitative scoring approach for NGS clonality results. Considering the advantages of NGS-based clonality analysis, including its high sensitivity and possibilities for accurate clonal comparison, this supports implementation in diagnostic practice.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by the Dutch Health Insurers' Innovation Fund project number 17-179; and the revenues of the previously obtained patent ( PCT/NL2003/000690 ), which is collectively owned by the EuroClonality/BIOMED-2 Consortium and licensed to Invivoscribe.
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