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J Clin Oncol. 1995 Oct;13(10):2656-75.

Coherent view of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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  • 1Hematology/Oncology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.



Even though non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is already sixth in incidence and mortality among malignant neoplasms (and the incidence was increasing at a rate of 3% to 4% per year before the advent of AIDS epidemic-associated lymphomas), most physicians and many oncologists find the disorder arcane. The problem lies in the complexity of human lymphoma, which encompasses more than a dozen neoplasms of the lymphoid system. The goal of this review is to provide user-friendly access to the condition.


The variety of inputs required for a subdivision of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that is useful to clinicians includes lymphocyte lineage and sublineage based on microscopic appearance and immunophenotype, clinical behavior manifest in survival and early dissemination, and analysis of molecular genetic and cytogenetic abnormalities, which reflect pathogenic oncogene derangements. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) are important in certain uncommon lymphomas.


The subtypes of primary B-lineage nodal lymphoma include low-grade (small lymphocytic, lymphoplasmacytic-lymphoplasmacytoid, follicular small cleaved cell, and follicular mixed small cleaved and large cell), intermediate-grade (follicular large cell, diffuse small cleaved or mixed, and intermediate lymphocytic), and high-grade (diffuse large cell, immunoblastic, and small noncleaved cell) neoplasms. The less common lymphomas of T lineage and lymphomas that arise in extranodal sites are placed in separate subdivisions. This subdivision serves as a guide to prognosis and treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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