Adverse prognostic significance of CD20 positive Reed-Sternberg cells in classical Hodgkin's disease

Carol S. Portlock, Gerard B. Donnelly, Jing Qin, David Straus, Joachim Yahalom, Andrew Zelenetz, Ariela Noy, Owen O'Connor, Steven Horwitz, Craig Moskowitz, Daniel A. Filippa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The prognostic significance of CD20 positive classical Hodgkin's disease (cHD) is uncertain. All cHD cases referred to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) were retrospectively identified (5/92-11/00); the samples were immunostained, and clinical data ascertained. Cases were re-reviewed without knowledge of clinical outcome. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed 248 patients had cHD: 28 CD20+ (11%); 220 CD20 -. All clinical characteristics were comparable except haemoglobin level at presentation. With a median follow-up of 29.2 months, significant prognostic factors in multivariate analysis were: CD20 positivity, elevated white blood cell count (WBC) and low absolute lymphocyte count for time-to treatment failure (TTF); and for overall survival (OS), CD20 positivity, elevated WBC count, bone marrow involvement and age ≥45 years. TTF was significantly poorer for ABVD-treated patients with CD20+ cHD as compared with CD20- cHD. Among 167 patients treated at MSKCC, both TTF (P < 0.0001) and OS (P = 0.017) were significantly decreased in CD20 + patients as compared with CD20- cHD. CD20+ cHD is a poor prognostic factor for TTF and OS. All cHD cases should be immunophenotyped for CD20. A large prospective trial is needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-708
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • CD20
  • Classical Hodgkin's disease
  • Immunophenotype
  • Prognosis
  • Reed-Sternberg cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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