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Br J Haematol. 2004 May;125(3):267-81.

Epstein-Barr virus-associated Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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1
Department of Tumour Immunology, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. maherG@qimr.edu.au

Abstract

Survivors of Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) frequently have many years to experience the long-term toxicities of combined modality therapies. Also, a significant proportion of HL patients will relapse or have refractory disease, and less than half of these patients will respond to current salvage strategies. 30-50% of HL cases are Epstein-Barr virus associated (EBV-positive HL). The virus is localized to the malignant cells and is clonal. EBV-positive HL is more frequent in childhood, in older adults (>45 years) and in mixed cellularity cases. The survival of EBV-positive HL in the elderly and the immunosuppressed is particularly poor. Despite improvements in our understanding of EBV-positive HL, the true contribution of EBV to the pathogenesis of HL remains unknown. Increased knowledge of the virus' role in the basic biology of HL may generate novel therapeutic strategies for EBV-positive HL and the presence of EBV-latent antigens in the malignant HL cells may represent a target for cellular immunotherapy.

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