Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma’s (NHLs) are a heterogeneous group of hematological malignancies with a large variation in clinical presentation, morphological appearance and prognosis. The NHLs make up the largest group (40-50%) of all hematological malignancies. In 2007, 17.700 people in the Netherlands had a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Of these cases, 1.2/1000 was male and 1.2/1000 was female. The number of newly diagnosed NHL was 2800. In the same year, 1061 succumbed to the disease (585 male, 476 female)1. NHLs almost always arise from cells of the immune system resulting, in either B-cell or T-cell lymphomas. Most (approximately 85%) NHLs arise from their normal B-cell counterparts whereas a minority (approximately 15%) is derived from T-cells. Of the NHLs, approximately 65% arise in lymph nodes (nodal type), whereas the remaining 35% can arise in any organ (extra-nodal type). The most recent WHO classifi cation contains about 50 different (clinico-pathological) entities. Each entity is considered to have a normal physiological counterpart refl ecting the various differentiation stages in the lymphoid organs or bone marrow.

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This work was partly funded by the Dutch Cancer Society (Koningin Wilhelmina Fonds) and the Revolvung Fund (MRace) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam
H.R. Delwel (Ruud) , P. Sonneveld (Pieter)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

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