Background: The prognosis for children with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) treated with a risk adjusted combination of radiation therapy and multi-drug chemotherapy has markedly improved. There remains a group of patients whose disease either recurs or does not respond to therapy. Protein expression profiling has been used to define protein characteristics of serum from adult patients in order to improve screening for early diagnosis. However, profiling for the purpose of staging and defining prognostic characteristics of childhood diseases is not well studied. The current stage-based risk assignment of HL cannot predict the patients within a risk group that are destined to recur or do not respond to therapy. Thus, a need exists to develop new methodologies to better stratify the risk classification of pediatric HL.
Procedure: We have completed a preliminary project to identify characteristic serum protein peaks determined by protein expression profiling in serum of 22 subjects with HL, 13 with stage II HL and 9 with stage III or IV.
Results: Protein profiling successfully discriminated between high grade (III/IV) HL and low grade (II) HL.
Conclusion: These data lay the basis for prospective studies to identify protein expression profiles useful for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment stratification, and the follow-up of minimal residual disease.