The immunophenotype of lymphomas was first used in the Kiel classification for broad grouping of lymphomas into B-cell and T-cell types. With the inclusion of the NK-cell lymphomas into the T-cell group, this distinction remains a fundamental consideration in the REAL classification and serves as a primary step in the separation of the lymphomas into two broad groups. Within these broad groupings the detailed immunophenotype is useful in helping to define individual entities but in only a few instances does a combination of immunophenotypic properties alone serve to define an entity that cannot be distinguished by other means. This is true of mantle cell lymphoma where the defining genotype, t(11;14), results in expression of cyclin D1, the defining immunophenotype.

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