Mol Path 53:262-269 doi:10.1136/mp.53.5.262

Hodgkin's disease and the Epstein-Barr virus

  1. K J Flavell2,
  2. P G Murray1
  1. 1The School of Health Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1DJ, UK
  2. 2The Department of Pathology, Division of Cancer Studies, Medical School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
  1. Dr Murray p.g.murray{at}
  • Accepted 20 June 2000


Hodgkin's disease is an unusual cancer because the malignant cells constitute only a minority of the total tumour mass and, as a consequence, the study of these cells has been a major challenge. Recently, the application of newer technologies, such as single cell polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gene expression array analysis, to the study of Hodgkin's disease have yielded new insights into the pathogenesis of this tumour. In addition, the recognition that a proportion of Hodgkin's disease tumours harbour the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and that its genome is monoclonal in these tumours suggests that the virus contributes to the development of Hodgkin's disease in some cases. This review summarises current knowledge of the pathogenesis of Hodgkin's disease with particular emphasis on the association with EBV. J Clin Pathol: Mol Pathol