Hodgkin disease, nodular sclerosis type. Implications of histologic subclassification

Cancer. 1993 Jan 15;71(2):457-63. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19930115)71:2<457::aid-cncr2820710229>3.0.co;2-u.


Background: The prognostic significance of the cellular composition of the nodules of Hodgkin disease, nodular sclerosis type (HDNS), is controversial.

Methods: Tumors from 79 patients with HDNS, who had a median follow-up time of 9.3 years, were studied.

Results: Based on British National Lymphoma Investigation criteria, 58 cases were classified as NSI (low-grade) and 21 as NSII (high-grade). The study included 24 male and 55 female patients, aged 10-57 years (mean, 27 years), who presented with Stage I (13 patients [12A, 1B]), Stage II (45 patients [40A, 5B]), or Stage III (21 patients [16A, 5B]) disease. Fifty-three patients had no relapse, 4 died of other causes, and 49 are in complete clinical remission. Twenty-six patients had progression of disease during therapy or relapsed and 17 were successfully salvaged. Overall length of survival was significantly shorter with NSII (P = 0.0001), extensive necrosis (P = 0.0034), high stage (P = 0.0058), and B symptoms (P = 0.030). Multivariate analysis showed that grade had the strongest effect on overall survival (P = 0.0042; hazard ratio = 10.19). The 5-year survival was 100% for NSI patients and 75% for NSII patients. Only B symptoms were significantly associated with risk of relapse after initial therapy (P = 0.030). For patients who relapsed, only histologic grade predicted subsequent disease-free survival (P = 0.0023; hazard ratio = 26.5). Five-year disease-free survival after first relapse was 94% for NSI patients and 11% for NSII patients.

Conclusions: Patients with NSI disease who relapse have a more successful salvage and longer period of survival than do those with NSII disease. Histologic subclassification of HDNS appears clinically relevant, and consideration of histologic subtype may be important when planning therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / classification*
  • Hodgkin Disease / pathology*
  • Hodgkin Disease / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Sclerosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome