The immunophenotype of the tumor provides a useful starting point for analysis. Expression of IgM, IgD, IgG, and IgA is evaluated and can be used to determine which constant region primer is most likely to identify the tumor clone. Knowledge of kappa and lambda expression can identify the light chain used by the tumor clone and, thus, the appropriate primers can be selected. In conjunction with other B-cell markers, including CD20 and CD19, immunophenotypic information can give an indication as to the percentage of tumor cells in the cell population. A low percentage can be a reason for failure to identify a tumor-derived clone.
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