EuroClonality is a European scientifically independent foundation aiming to promote continuous innovation and standardization of laboratory diagnostics in hemato-oncology with a special emphasis on clonality testing and supporting quality control and education in laboratory diagnostics. As an international research consortium of diagnostic laboratories, EuroClonality developed and standardized novel multiplex PCR assays for detection of immunoglobulin (IG) and T-cell receptor (TR) gene rearrangements. These assays can 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.
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-cell and T-cell lymphomas are clonal diseases. The detection rate of clonal rearrangements using the EuroClonality/BIOMED-2 primer sets is unprecedentedly high. The EuroClonality/BIOMED-2 clonality assays are now widely used for detection of clonality in lymphoproliferative disorders.
The main activities and services of EuroClonality: Education, Diagnostic support, Quality control, Innovation
Currently, the EuroClonality Consortium is focused on the following activities and services:
- Educational services for IG/TR clonality testing. Yearly, the EuroClonality Educational Workshop "Clonality Assessment in Pathology" is given in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. These workshops (in English) are meant for a pathologist and a molecular biologist or immunologist, who participate as a duo from a center. Information on the workshop is provided on the workshop page. Workshops "on site" are given as well.
- Diagnostic services: EuroClonality provides several support services and advises other diagnostic laboratories in their diagnostic work on diagnosis and follow-up of patients with hematological malignancies, as performed with the above described PCR methods. The support services are given by a panel of experts via the support page of the EuroClonality website.
- External Quality Assessment: Based on quality control rounds within EuroClonality, guidelines for interpretation and reporting of IG/TR clonality testing have been provided (Langerak et al., Leukemia 2012, 26:2159-71). These guidelines, describing the technical interpretation of the separate PCR tubes as well as the molecular interpretation, are the basis for the EuroClonality External Quality Assessment (EQA) schemes for IG/TR Clonality Testing in Suspected Lymphoproliferations/Lymphoma, which have been provided since 2015.
- Innovation: Application of new developments/methodologies in hemato-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 EuroClonality
The consortium started as BIOMED-2 study group and now continues collaboration under the name EuroClonality.
The institutes that participated in the original BIOMED-2 study group (BIOMED-2: PCR-based clonality studies) are now participants of EuroClonality.
ESLHO is an official EHA Specialized Working Group (SWG). SWGs seek to initiate and create scientific networks that serve under the umbrella of EHA. At the annual EHA Congress, ESLHO presents its innovations in the special EHA-SWG sessions.