A monoclonal antibody (Ab 89) was developed against a lymphoma-associated antigen on the tumor cells of a patient (N.B.) with a B cell, poorly differentiated lymphocytic lymphoma (D-PDL). By indirect immunofluorescence, Ab 89 was shown to react only with N.B. lymphoma cells and was unreactive with normal N.B. lymphoid cells, normal fractionated peripheral blood cells, other normal lymphoid tissues, fetal tissues, and non-lymphoid malignant cells. In addition, Ab 89 was unreactive with conventional immunoglobulins, private and public HLA antigens, or Ia-like antigens. More importantly, Ab 89 was reactive with some B cell lymphoid malignancies. Of the 57 B cell lymphomas tested, it was found that Ab 89 reacted with approximately 10% of B cell D-PDL and B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Of interest was the finding that N.B. serum contained a circulating antigen which could specifically block the reactivity of Ab 89. The data obtained suggests that Ab 89 defines a tumor-associated antigen shared by a unique subgroup of B cell lymphomas. The group of patients reactive with Ab 89 did not fall into any histopathologic classification system. These data support the notion that there is greater heterogeneity of B cell lymphomas than may have been previously recognized.

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