Rosai-Dorfman Disease between Proliferation and Neoplasia

Cancers (Basel). 2022 Oct 27;14(21):5271. doi: 10.3390/cancers14215271.


Rosai-Dorfman disease (RDD) is a rare myeloproliferative disorder of histiocytes with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations and peculiar morphologic features (accumulation of histiocytes with emperipolesis). Typically, the patient with RDD shows bilateral painless, massive cervical lymphadenopathy associated with B symptoms. Approximately 43% of patients presented with extranodal involvement. According to the 2016 revised histiocytosis classification, RDD belongs to the R group, including familial and sporadic form (classical nodal, extranodal, unclassified, or RDD associated with neoplasia or immune disease). Sporadic RDD is often self-limited. Most RDD needs only local therapies. Nevertheless, a small subpopulation of patients may be refractory to conventional therapy and die of the disease. Recent studies consider RDD a clonal neoplastic process, as approximately 1/3 of these patients harbor gene mutations involving the MAPK/ERK pathway, e.g., NRAS, KRAS, MAP2K1, and, rarely, the BRAF mutation. In addition to typical histiocytic markers (S100/fascin/CD68/CD163, etc.), recent studies show that the histiocytes in RDD also express BCL-1 and OCT2, which might be important in pathogenesis. Additionally, the heterozygous germline mutation involving the FAS gene TNFRSF6 is identified in some RDD patients with an autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome type Ia. SLC29A3 germline mutation is associated with familial or Faisalabad histiocytosis and H syndrome.

Keywords: MAPK pathway; Rosai–Dorfman disease; gene mutation; histiocytic disorder; sinus histiocytosis.

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This research received no external funding.