, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 237-242

Retrospective analysis of the prognostic role of tissue eosinophil and mast cells in Hodgkin’s lymphoma

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The composition of reactive cell populations, which constitute the majority of tumor load in Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL), can influence the prognosis of the disease. Besides widely accepted and applied prognostic scores, the authors evaluate biological factors that may have a prognostic impact. Previous data indicate that the rate of eosinophils and mast cells in the reactive cell population, determined already at diagnosis, can be used for this purpose. Histological samples from 104 patients with HL with an average follow-up period of 110 (24–214) months were retrospectively analyzed. Mast cell positivity was associated with better overall survival, although this difference was only of borderline statistical significance (p=0.092). No significant difference was found in parameters like overall survival (OS, p=0.906) or event-free survival (EFS, p=0.307) of eosinophil-positive vs. -negative cases or in EFS (p=0.742) of mast cell-positive vs. -negative individuals (criterion for a positive specimen was more than 5% of appropriate cells in the reactive cell population). Looking at the effect of eosinophilia and mastocytosis together, there was no significant difference between the subgroups categorized according to the combined presence of the two cell types. It seems that tissue eosinophil and mast cell predominance have no prognostic value that could be used in clinical practice, although a tendency for correlation of mast cell positivity with overall survival could be seen. For a definitive statement, multicenter studies should be performed involving a higher number of patients suffering from HL.