Background: We carried out immunohistochemistry to examine the expression of nm23-H1 in Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells in patients with classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (CHL). Patients and methods: We evaluated 128 patients with CHL [87 patients with nodular sclerosis (NS) and 41 patients with mixed cellularity (MC)] for CD15, CD20, Ki-67, EBER, TIA-1, and nm23-H1 by immunohistochemistry. Results: CD15 was expressed in 79%, CD20 in 11%, Ki-67 in 93%, EBER in 34%, TIA-1 in 11%, and nm23-H1 in 60% of the CHL patients. NS patients showed a significantly higher rate of nm23-H1 expression than MC patients (P < 0.001). The serum nm23-H1 level was significantly higher in patients with positive nm23 expression. Univariate analysis showed that stage IV, poor performance status, low hemoglobin level, low serum albumin level, age of 45 years or older, TIA-1-positive status, and nm23-H1-positive status were associated with significantly shorter progression-free survival. Multivariate analysis with these factors showed TIA-1 and cytoplasmic nm23-H1 expression to be significant and independent prognostic factors. Conclusions: Our results indicate that nm23-H1 expression is a prognostic factor for CHL and that it is as important as serum nm23-H1, both of which are useful for planning the treatment strategy.
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