Patients with Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma and Follicular Lymphoma Compared to Single Malignancy Controls

Am J Surg Pathol. 2024 Apr 11. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000002225. Online ahead of print.


Classic Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL) can arise in patients with low-grade B-cell lymphoma. The features of CHL arising in follicular lymphoma (FL) and its outcome are still unclear, mainly due to the very few cases reported. This study compares 17 patients with CHL and FL to 2 control groups: 1 of 26 patients with FL and a second of 60 patients older than 40 when diagnosed with CHL. Of the FL and CHL patients, 8 had simultaneous FL and CHL, while 9 had FL first, followed by CHL 4.7 years later on average. The age at the diagnosis of FL was 61 years for patients with synchronous FL and CHL and of 60 years for FL, followed by CHL at 65 years. Patients with FL only were, on average, 59 years old at presentation, while CHL patients were 61. FL was grade 1-2 in 75% of FL and CHL patients and 67% of FL first and CHL second patients, lower proportions than in the FL control group-92%. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was detected in a lower fraction (29%) of the FL and CHL group than in CHL-only controls (46%). BCL2 translocations were detected in 4 of the 7 cases with FL, but in positive cases, the rearrangement was also present in the CHL component, indicating a clonal relationship between FL and CHL. Patients with FL and CHL treated for CHL had an initial outcome more similar to FL than to CHL controls.