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Eur J Cancer. 2001 Jul;37(10):1276-87.

Pathogenetic and histogenetic features of HIV-associated Hodgkin's disease.

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Division of Experimental Oncology 1, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCCS, National Cancer Institute, via Pedemontana Occidentale 12, 33081 (PN), Aviano, Italy.


Compared with the cases in the general population, Hodgkin's disease (HD) arising in the HIV setting shows distinctive features in terms of epidemiology, aetiopathogenesis, histopathology and clinical behaviour. Although HD does not represent an AIDS-defining condition, recent evidence consistently indicates that HIV-infected individuals have a significantly increased risk of developing HD. HIV-related HD is characterised by the preponderance of aggressive histological subtypes, advanced stage at presentation, and highly malignant clinical course. Moreover, unlike HD in the general population, the large majority of HIV-related HD cases are pathogenetically linked to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), with rates of EBV positivity ranging from 80 to 100%. Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells of these cases invariably show a strong expression of the EBV-encoded latent membrane protein-1 (LMP-1), which functions as a constitutively activated tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-like molecule. Usurpation of physiologically relevant pathways by LMP-1 may lead to the simultaneous or sequential activation of signalling pathways involved in the promotion of cell activation, growth, and survival, contributing thus to most of the features of HIV-related HD.

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