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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2011, Article ID 920898, 18 pages
Review Article

Pathobiology of Hodgkin Lymphoma

1Hematopathology Section, Department of Hematology and Oncological Sciences “L. and A. Seràgnoli”, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2Molecular Pathology Laboratory, Haematopathology Unit, Department of Haematology and Oncology “L. and A. Seràgnoli”, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Via Massarenti, 9 - 40138 Bologna, Italy
3Department of Human Pathology, University of Palermo, 90133 Palermo, Italy

Received 30 August 2010; Accepted 11 November 2010

Academic Editor: Kensei Tobinai

Copyright © 2011 Pier Paolo Piccaluga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite its well-known histological and clinical features, Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) has recently been the object of intense research activity, leading to a better understanding of its phenotype, molecular characteristics, histogenesis, and possible mechanisms of lymphomagenesis. There is complete consensus on the B-cell derivation of the tumor in most cases, and on the relevance of Epstein-Barr virus infection and defective cytokinesis in at least a proportion of patients. The REAL/WHO classification recognizes a basic distinction between lymphocyte predominance HL (LP-HL) and classic HL (cHL), reflecting the differences in clinical presentation and behavior, morphology, phenotype, and molecular features. cHL has been classified into four subtypes: lymphocyte rich, nodular sclerosing, with mixed cellularity, and lymphocyte depleted. The borders between cHL and anaplastic large-cell lymphoma have become sharper, whereas those between LP-HL and T-cell-rich B-cell lymphoma remain ill defined. Treatments adjusted to the pathobiological characteristics of the tumor in at-risk patients have been proposed and are on the way to being applied.