Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) is a slowly progressing neoplasm with a favourable prognosis. However, in a minority of cases (3–12%) it progresses to a clonally related diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), diagnosed between 6 months and 24 years after NLPHL. This study investigated six cases of NLPHL and DLBCL at the same location.Methods and results:
The patients were five men and one woman. In four cases, the site was an axillary lymph node, and in two it was inguinal. In all cases, NLPHL areas had typical morphological and immunophenotypic features. DLBCL involvement was multifocal, diffuse, and characterized by large centroblastic and anaplastic cells. Immunohistochemical studies showed DLBCL cells to be positive for CD20, CD45, and BCL6. In one case, DLBCL cells were positive for BCL2, and in two cases they were positive for MUM-1. There were no networks of follicular dendritic cells (FDC) associated with DLBCL. Rosettes of PD-1-positive and CD57-positive cells surrounding malignant cells in NLPHL were absent in DLBCL. All the cases were negative for Epstein–Barr virus. No translocations involving MYC were identified in DLBCL. Treatment and outcome were known in four cases. All of these patients were treated with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP), and this was followed by clinical remission (CR).Conclusions:
In adequately sampled tumors, DLBCL can be associated with NLPHL at diagnosis. Diffuse architecture, loss of FDC networks, sometimes immunophenotype shift are characteristics of DLBCL associated with NLPHL. Treatment with R-CHOP usually leads to CR.