While analyses were still lacking for nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL), several research had defined the microenvironment and its predictive influence in classic Hodgkin lymphoma. Thus, for a study, researchers sought to determine the microenvironment and tumor cell features in NLPHL and assessed potential connections to the clinical picture. 

In the randomized German Hodgkin Study Group HD16-HD18 trials, lymph node samples from 152 NLPHL patients who received first-line therapy were available. The samples were examined for the presence of PD1-positive follicular T helper cells and CD163-positive macrophages in the microenvironment, as well as the IgD status and nuclear size of the tumor cells. 

There were no differences between risk groups in terms of the IgD status of the tumor cells or the quantity of CD163-positive macrophages in the microenvironment, even though patients with early/intermediate-stage disease had larger tumor cell nuclei and higher numbers of PD1-positive follicular T helper cells in the microenvironment than patients with advanced-stage disease (P < 0.0001, unpaired t-test; P = 0.0022, Mann–Whitney test). 

Given that rosetting surrounding the tumor cells was seen in 96% of patients and that PD1-positive follicular T helper cells were found in both instances with conventional and variant growth patterns, NLPHL may benefit from the involvement of these cells.

Reference: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjh.18376