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CD30-positive T-cell lymphomas co-expressing CD15: An immunohistochemical analysis

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The characteristic histologic features and immunophenotype are usually diagnostic and allow distinguishing CD30 positive T-cell lymphoma (including anaplastic large cell lymphoma) from classical Hodgkin's lymphoma. The latter differs by expression of CD15 and lack of CD45, pan-T antigens and ALK expression. We report nine cases of large cell hematopoietic neoplasms in which the neoplastic cells co-expressed CD30 and CD15, and had immunophenotypic and morphologic features of T-cell lymphoproliferative process. The average age of the CD15-positive group was 61.9 years; 6 cases occurred in men and 3 in women. The tumors were located in lymph nodes in 8 cases, and in liver in 1 case. Two cases expressed ALK protein. There were no statistically significant differences in phenotypic parameters between the CD15-positive and CD15-negative neoplasms (p>0.05). However, the CD15-positive group appeared to show a minor trend toward less positivity for EMA (44% versus 72%), ALK protein (22% versus 51%), and CD45RO (33.3% versus 83.3%, p=0.07), when compared to the typical CD15-negative neoplasms. In summary, although the co-expression of CD30 and CD15 is typical for classical HL, it may be also present in a subset of peripheral T-cell neoplasms including ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Combined and sensible use of morphology and a broad immunophenotypic panel in cases with limited material and/or those with overlapping histologic patterns will best discriminate between HL and ALCL. It is incumbent upon the pathologist to distinguish between these two clinicopathologic entities, since treatment options and clinical outcomes differ.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: IMPATH Inc., New York, NY 10019, USA., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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