Study highlights transformation of Hodgkin's into non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

According to Canadian researchers, those diagnosed with a traditionally rare subtype of Hodgkin's lymphoma need to be especially vigilant because of the subtype's "underappreciated" capacity to transform into an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma many years down the road.

A study out of the British Columbia Cancer Agency and published online, ahead of print, on 4 January 2010 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, looked at patients diagnosed with nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma (NLPHL) over a 40 year period and determined that 14% of those patients "experienced transformation to aggressive lymphoma" (median time to transformation, 8.1 years), namely secondary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The study urged long-term follow-up in order to better determine the risk factor associated with this transformation.

Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma (NLPHL) is one of five subtypes of hodgkin's lymphoma, representing about 5% of all Hodgkin's diagnoses.

By Ross Bonander

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