EuroClonality is working under the umbrella of ESLHO (European Scientific foundation for Laboratory HematoOncology). Other networks working under the umbrella of ESLHO are EuroMRD(www.EuroMRD.org) and EuroFlow (www.EuroFlow.org). General information about ESLHO can be found on the ESLHO website (www.ESLHO.org).
On this website, professionals on BIOMED-2 immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor gene rearrangements in lymphoproliferations suspicious for lymphoma, meet.
The diagnosis of malignant lymphoma is a recognized difficult area in histopathology. The detection of clonality in suspected lymphoproliferations is a valuable supplementary tool, as in principle B- and T-cell lymphomas are clonal diseases. In a European BIOMED-2 collaborative study, multiplex PCR assays have successfully been developed and standardized for the detection of clonally rearranged immunoglobulin (Ig) and T-cell receptor (TCR) genes. The detection rate of clonal rearrangements using the BIOMED-2 primer sets is unprecedentedly high. The BIOMED-2 clonality assays are now widely used for detection of clonality in lymphoproliferative disorders.
EuroClonality is the name of a European consortium for the development of novel PCR-based methods that allow detection of gene rearrangements, particularly immunoglobulin (IG) and T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements, to be used for discrimination between normal (polyclonal) and abnormal/ malignant (monoclonal) lymphoproliferations in order to support the accurate and reliable diagnosis and follow-up of hematologic malignancies, particularly lymphoid malignancies.
This particularly concerns the development, standardization and clinical evaluation of novel PCR primers and combinations of multiple PCR primers (multiplex PCR tubes) for detection of the different types of IG/TCR gene rearrangements as well as the design of novel methods for fast and automated analysis of the obtained PCR products in order to assess whether the obtained PCR products are diverse (polyclonal) or whether they are at least in part identical, corresponding with normal (polyclonal) lymphocytes or abnormal/malignant (monoclonal) lymphocytes, respectively.
The EuroClonality group supports and advises other diagnostic laboratories in their diagnostic work on the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with hematological malignancies, as performed with the above described PCR methods. The support is given by a panel of experts via the EuroClonality website.
About the main focus of the EuroClonality group
- Educational activities for Ig/TCR clonality testing. Yearly, the Euroclonality workshop: “Clonality assessment in Pathology”, is given in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. These workshops (English) are meant for pathologist and molecular biologist or immunologist who participate as a duo from a center. Information on the workshop is provided on this website. Workshops "on site" have been given as well.
- Quality control: Based on quality control rounds within the EuroClonality group, guidelines for interpretation and reporting of IG/TR Clonality testing have been provided (Langerak et al., Leukemia 2012, 10:2159-71). These guidelines describing the technical interpretation of the separate PCR tubes as well as the molecular interpretation are the basis for the Quality Assessment Schemes for IG/TR Clonality Testing in Suspected Lymphoproliferations/Lymphoma, which have been provided since 2015. Information about the EQAs can be obtained via: Clonality@kuleuven.be
- Application of new developments/methodologies in heamato-oncology and clonality assessment, which focuses mainly on the development of next generation sequencing based analysis of Ig and TR rearrangements.
About BIOMED-2 Concerted Action BMH4-CT98-3936 and MEMBERS of EuroClonality
The consortium started as BIOMED-2 study group and now continues collaboration under the name EuroClonality.
The professionals who participated in the original BIOMED-2 study group (BIOMED-2: PCR-based clonality studies) are now MEMBERS of the EuroClonality group. It is thus not possible to become a member of the EuroClonality group.
Dr. Patricia Groenen, chair
Dr. Anton Langerak, treasurer
Prof. Dr. Frederic Davi, secretariat
Prof. Jacques J.M. van Dongen, founding chairman 1996-2011
Prof. Dr. Monika Brüggemann
Dr. Jose Cabeçadas
Dr. Els Moreau