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Composite Lymphoma Consisting of Hodgkins Disease and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma A Report of Four Cases


, : Composite Lymphoma Consisting of Hodgkins Disease and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma A Report of Four Cases. Blood 100(11): Abstract No 4668, November 16

Background: Composite lymphoma (CL) is defined as lymphoma with two distinctly demarcated types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or the rare association of Hodgkin's disease with a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma within a single organ or tissue. Whereas the most common form is the combination of two non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, the combination of Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is rare and have long been regarded as distinct disease entities. Recent data have demonstrated that in some cases both lymphomas are derived from a common B-cell precursor suggesting a clonal relationship between both lymphoma entities. Due to the rareness of true CL, experience with regard to accurate diagnosis and appropriate therapy is limited. Design: The medical records of four patients in which the diagnosis of CL was considered were critically reviewed. We retrospectively studied the patients' history, histopathologic reports, immunhistochemical studies, therapy and the course of disease. Results are discussed in the context of the literature. Results: In only one of four cases a CL composed of a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and a Hodgkin's disease could be diagnosed. This patient has been treated with eight cycles of BEACOPP and still is in complete remission after a follow-up of 33 months. In the second case, due to very uniform high CD20-reactivity and light chain restriction, diagnosis of an aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has been favored rather than CL, although the lymphoma showed characteristics of both Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. After two cycles of CHOP chemotherapy and three cycles of high-dose chemotherapy the patient is still in complete remission after a follow-up of 34 months. In the third case, classic Hodgkin's disease has been diagnosed nine years after first diagnosis of a B cell non Hodgkin's lymphoma, that never achieved complete remission after treatment with several different chemotherapies. Because no residuals of the former B cell non Hodgkin's lymphoma could be detected in the present biopsy, no CL could be diagnosed. It could not be excluded, that residuals of the B cell non Hodgkin's lymphoma were present in other involved sites. Thus, it was not possible to decide whether a discordant lymphoma or the occurrence of a Hodgkin's disease after a non Hodgkin's lymphoma had to be considered. In the fourth case, two years after diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease a B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was identified. Since there was no evidence of either residual or relapsed disease concerning the former diagnosed Hodgkin's disease, non Hodgkin's lymphoma was interpreted as a second malignant tumor. Conclusion: The simultaneous occurrence of Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in terms of a true CL is rare. Therefore, diagnosis should be made with caution. For accurate diagnosis use of different complementary diagnostic procedures including molecular studies for rearranged immunoglobulin genes are mandatory. Prognosis of CL seems to depend largely on the histologic subtype of the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma component. It is recommended to primarily eradicate the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma if this component is of an aggressive subtype. If the CL consists of indolent lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease, the therapeutic approach should be targeted on the Hodgkin's component.

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