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Blood. 2013 Dec 19;122(26):4246-52; quiz 4292. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-07-515825. Epub 2013 Oct 7.

The prognostic impact of variant histology in nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma: a report from the German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG).

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Dr. Senckenberg Institute of Pathology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany;


Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) accounts for approximately 5% of all Hodgkin lymphoma cases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic implication of histopathologic NLPHL variants. Biopsies of 423 NLPHL patients treated within 9 prospective clinical trials performed by the German Hodgkin Study Group were classified as tumor cell-rich cases (n = 10), typical NLPHL (n = 308), or histopathologic variants (n = 105). Histopathologic variants were characterized by the presence of lymphoma cells outside the B-cell nodules or B-cell depletion of the microenvironment. Compared with typical NLPHL, histopathologic variants were associated with advanced disease (29.5% vs 14.6%, P = .0012) and a higher relapse rate (18.1% vs 6.5% at 5 years, P = .0009). Variant histology represented an independent prognostic factor (odds ratio = 2.955) in a multivariate model of progression/relapse. A prognostic score, including the risk factors variant histopathologic growth pattern, low serum albumin, and male gender, was derived from this model and allowed the definition of 3 distinct risk groups. NLPHL patients presenting with histopathologic variants have a poorer outcome compared with those showing typical histology. The newly developed prognostic score combining histologic and clinical features allows allocating NLPHL patients to defined risk groups.

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