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Commentary on the WHO classification of tumors of lymphoid tissues (2008): "Gray zone" lymphomas overlapping with Burkitt lymphoma or classical Hodgkin lymphoma.
Journal of Hematopathology
The 2008 WHO Classification of Tumors of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues has introduced two new categories of high-grade B-cell lymphomas: entities in which features of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) overlap with Burkitt lymphoma (DLBCL/BL) or classical Hodgkin lymphoma (DLBCL/HL). The DLBCL/BL category encompasses cases that resemble Burkitt lymphoma morphologically, but have one or more immunophenotypic or molecular genetic deviations that would exclude it from the BL category; conversely, some cases have immunophenotypic and/or genetic features of BL, but display cytologic variability unacceptable for BL. Many of the cases in the DLBCL/BL category contain a translocation of MYC as well as either BCL2 or BCL6 (so-called double-hit lymphomas) and have a very aggressive clinical behavior. The DLBCL/HL category encompasses lymphomas that exhibit the morphology of classical Hodgkin lymphoma but the immunophenotype of DLBCL, or vice versa. Most DLBCL/HL cases described present as mediastinal masses, but this category is not limited to mediastinal lymphomas. These new categories acknowledge the increasing recognition of cases that display mixed features of two well-established diseases. Whether the existence of such cases reflects shortcomings of our current diagnostic armamentarium or a true disease continuum in which such hybrid or intermediate neoplasms actually exist remains to be determined.
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