Epidemiology and Pathologic Features of Hodgkin Lymphoma
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Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) has unique epidemiologic characteristics. The variation in incidence according to age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, and histologic subtype suggests an etiologic heterogeneity for this tumor. Epidemiologic studies have shown that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the pathogenesis of HL. HL is one of the Epstein-Barr virus—associated lymphomas, but the oncogenetic mechanism of HL remains to be elucidated. Recent advances in molecular biology have revealed the peculiar nature of the nodular lymphocyte predominant subtype, and as a result this disease is separated from classic types of HL in the new World Health Organization classification. Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells and lymphocytic and/or histiocytic (L&H) cells originate from germinal center B-cells. Loss of the B-cell phenotype due to down-regulation of several B-cell—specific transcription factors is characteristic of RS cells in classic HL.
Key wordsHodgkin lymphoma Nodular lymphocyte predominant Reed-Sternberg cells Germinal center B-cells
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