Does “in situ lymphoma” occur as a distinct step in the development of nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma?


  • Antonino Carbone MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Pathology, Oncology Referral Center-Aviano, National Cancer Institute, Aviano, Italy
    • IRCCS-C.R.O. Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano, Via Franco Gallini, 2, I-33081 Aviano (PN), Italy

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    • Antonino Carbone is Chairman of the Department of Pathology at Oncology Referral Center-Aviano, is Coordinator of the National Telepathology Network (TESEO), and is a member of the Alliance Against Cancer.


The concept of in situ neoplasia, already well acknowledged in epithelial tumors, has now been extended to lymphoid neoplasms. Among germinal center (GC)-derived lymphomas, a type of “in situ follicular lymphoma (FL)” has been described in which cells that strongly express BCL2 are observed in histologically abnormal follicles. In this commentary, the author suggests that another GC-derived lymphoma, ie, nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma with a micronodular pattern in which small GCs or broken-up GCs are present within nodules, may be regarded as an early lesion limited to GC. Like “in situ FL,” this is likely to be an in situ step that potentially leads to overt lymphoma. Cancer 2012;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.