An association between sarcoidosis and lymphoproliferative diseases (LD), the sarcoidosis-lymphoma syndrome, has been previously described, and may be attributed to the underlying immunological abnormalities that occur during the sarcoidosis disease process.
We report two patients who developed Hodgkin’s disease and diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) subsequent to their diagnosis of sarcoidosis after latency periods of 6 years and 18 years respectively. Both patients developed histologically-proven sarcoidosis late in life, at 46 years and 58 years, and had differing clinical courses. The first had radiographically staged II chronic progressive respiratory sarcoidosis (RS) and required long-term methotrexate to control the disease, while the second achieved a spontaneous remission of her stage I intrathoracic RS. After treatment, the patient with Hodgkin’s disease remains in remission 2.5 years following six cycles of ABVD protocol chemotherapy and involved-field radiotherapy, while the NHL patient remains in remission at 3 years following six cycles of R-COP protocol chemotherapy.
Clinicians should be aware of the potential risks of malignancy, and especially of LD in sarcoidosis patients. They should be alerted to the possibility of additional pathology by any atypical clinical features, and should biopsy new lesions and adenopathy to exclude any coexistent neoplasm.