Relationship of immunodeficiency to lymphoid malignancy

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1988 May;7(5 Suppl):S10-2.


Individuals with either primary or secondary immunodeficiencies are at high risk to develop not only infections but also malignancy (especially of the lymphoid system). The major focus of this paper is on malignancies that develop in immunodeficiency syndromes, particularly malignancies in naturally occurring immunodeficiencies and following bone marrow transplantation (BMT). As of August, 1986, 514 cases of naturally occurring immunodeficiencies have been registered at the Immunodeficiency Cancer Registry. Overall non-Hodgkin's lymphomas predominate in these patients, accounting for 48.6% of all cases. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is the predominant malignancy in ataxia-telangiectasia, common variable immunodeficiency, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). The histopathology of the lymphomas differs somewhat in each of the disorders. In WAS, large cell "histiocytic" lymphoma predominates, with most cases having the features of B lymphocytes, including pleomorphic immunocytoma and immunoblastic lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in SCID also generally has B cell features and in some cases multiple copies of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genomic DNA have been found in tumor tissue. In contrast to ataxia-telangiectasia, in which non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is also the predominant neoplasm, the morphology and cell marker characteristics are more similar to those seen in nonimmunodeficient children. The lymphomas in ataxia-telangiectasia are very heterogeneous with representation from all the major histologic subtypes. We have found no relationship between the degree of immunodeficiency and the development of malignancy. Immunodeficiency following BMT, as in naturally occurring immunodeficiencies, appears to predispose patients to the development of lymphoid malignancy, especially for recipients of partially mismatched bone marrow. In Minnesota 8 patients have developed B cell lympho-proliferative disorders (BLPD) following BMT.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Ataxia Telangiectasia / complications
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Child
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / pathology
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / immunology
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome / complications