Diagnostic utility of STAT6YE361 expression in classical Hodgkin lymphoma and related entities

Mod Pathol. 2020 May;33(5):834-845. doi: 10.1038/s41379-019-0428-0. Epub 2019 Dec 10.


Although the distinction of classical Hodgkin lymphoma from nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma using morphology and immunostains is straightforward in most instances, occasional cases pose diagnostic challenge. We sought to determine the utility of the novel YE361 STAT6 rabbit monoclonal antibody in Hodgkin lymphoma and diagnostically challenging B- and T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma entities with Hodgkin-like features. Cases from seven institutions included: 57 classical Hodgkin lymphomas (31% EBV+), 34 nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphomas, 34 mimicking B- and T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and 7 reactive lymphoproliferations. After review of histology, STAT6YE361 immunostaining was performed. The intensity and spatial localization of immunopositivity was assessed in neoplastic cells. Additional FISH for programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) was performed in one patient in paired treatment-naive and relapse biopsy tissues. Two STAT6YE361 immunopositive cases were examined by whole-exome sequencing after flow sorting to assess mutations in STAT6 pathway genes. Most classical Hodgkin lymphomas showed nuclear staining for STAT6YE361 [46/57 cases (80%)] on Hodgkin cells. Staining was exclusively nuclear in a minority [12/46 (26%)], while dual nuclear and cytoplasmic localization was more common [34/46 (74%)]. In contrast, all nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphomas [0/34 (0%)] were negative for nuclear STAT6YE361 staining on the lymphocyte predominant cells. Within B- and T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas, nuclear STAT6YE361 was seen in: B-cell lymphoma unclassifiable with features intermediate between diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and classical Hodgkin lymphoma, and in primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma. Strong PD-L1 gene amplification was noted in the paired cHL and relapse B-cell lymphoma unclassifiable with features intermediate between diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and classical Hodgkin lymphoma, although STAT6YE361 was negative in both biopsies. Whole-exome sequencing identified mutations in B2M, XPO1, and ITPKB as well CISHP213L (in the STAT pathway) in one classical Hodgkin lymphoma patient positive for nuclear STAT6YE361 although no underlying STAT6 mutations were observed in either sample examined. STAT6YE361 nuclear staining has 100% positive predictive value and 85.7% negative predictive value in confirming or excluding classical Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis in the distinction from nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma and other benign and malignant entities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Hodgkin Disease / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnosis*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • STAT6 Transcription Factor / analysis
  • STAT6 Transcription Factor / biosynthesis*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • STAT6 Transcription Factor
  • STAT6 protein, human