The World Health Organization (WHO) divides Hodgkin lymphoma into two main subtypes. They are:
- Classical Hodgkin lymphoma
- Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma
Classical Hodgkin lymphoma is characterized by the presence of both Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells. Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma is characterized by the presence of lymphocyte-predominant cells, sometimes termed “popcorn cells,” which are a variant of Reed-Sternberg cells.
It is important to know your subtype since it plays a large part in determining the type of treatment you will receive.
Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
About 95 percent of people with Hodgkin lymphoma have classical Hodgkin lymphoma. This subtype is further divided into four distinct subtypes shown in the table below.
Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes
Nodular Lymphocyte-Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma
Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) affects about 5 percent of Hodgkin lymphoma patients. The following are some characteristics of NLPHL:
- Most common in 30 to 50 year-old age group
- More common in males
- Slow growing and can relapse many years later
- Highly curable
- Small risk of transformation to aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (7 percent of cases)
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's free booklet, Hodgkin Lymphoma.