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Blood. 2013 Mar 7;121(10):1795-804. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-06-439455. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

Aberrant T-cell antigen expression in classical Hodgkin lymphoma is associated with decreased event-free survival and overall survival.

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Hematopathology Section, Laboratory of Pathology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) rarely express T-cell-associated antigens (TCA), but the clinical significance of this finding is uncertain. Fifty cHLs expressing any TCA on the HRS cells (TCA-cHL) were identified in two cohorts (National Cancer Institute, n = 38; Basel, n = 12). Diagnostic pathology data were examined in all cases with additional T-cell receptor γ rearrangements (TRG@) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in a subset of cases. The outcome data were compared with a cohort of cHLs negative for TCA (n = 272). Primary end points examined were event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS). The median age in the TCA-cHL group was 40 years (range, 10-85 years). Seventy percent presented in low stage (stage I/II) at presentation with nodular sclerosis (NS) histology predominating in 80% of cases. Among the TCA, CD4 and CD2 were most commonly expressed, seen in 80.4% and 77.4% of cases, respectively. TRG@ PCR was negative for clonal rearrangements in 29 of 31 cases. During a median follow up of 113 months, TCA expression predicted shorter OS (adjusted hazard ratio [HRadj] = 3.32 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.61, 6.84]; P = .001) and EFS (HRadj = 2.55 [95% CI: 1.45, 4.49]; P = .001). TCA-cHL often display NS histology, lack T-cell genotype, and are independently associated with significantly shorter OS and EFS compared with TCA-negative cHLs.

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