Despite its well-known histological and clinical features, Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) has recently been the object of intense research activity, leading to a better understanding of its phenotype, molecular characteristics, histogenesis, and possible mechanisms of lymphomagenesis. There is complete consensus on the B-cell derivation of the tumor in most cases, and on the relevance of Epstein-Barr virus infection and defective cytokinesis in at least a proportion of patients. The REAL/WHO classification recognizes a basic distinction between lymphocyte predominance HL (LP-HL) and classic HL (cHL), reflecting the differences in clinical presentation and behavior, morphology, phenotype, and molecular features. cHL has been classified into four subtypes: lymphocyte rich, nodular sclerosing, with mixed cellularity, and lymphocyte depleted. The borders between cHL and anaplastic large-cell lymphoma have become sharper, whereas those between LP-HL and T-cell-rich B-cell lymphoma remain ill defined. Treatments adjusted to the pathobiological characteristics of the tumor in at-risk patients have been proposed and are on the way to being applied.
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