Are EBV-related and EBV-unrelated Hodgkin lymphomas different with regard to susceptibility to checkpoint blockade?

Antonino Carbone, Annunziata Gloghini and Carmelo Carlo-Stella


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)–related and EBV-unrelated classical Hodgkin lymphomas (cHLs) are morphologically and phenotypically indistinguishable. However, the tumor microenvironment of EBV-related cHLs contains higher numbers of macrophages and higher expression levels of PD-L1 than that of EBV-unrelated cHLs. Moreover, viral oncoprotein LMP1 may sustain an immunosuppressive microenvironment by inducing/enhancing production of immunosuppressive cytokines and the expression of PD-1. The presence of enhanced immunosuppressive features in EBV-related cHL should make EBV-related cHL patients more susceptible to checkpoint blockade.

  • Submitted February 14, 2018.
  • Accepted April 26, 2018.
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