Background: A previous study on Hodgkin's lymphoma in southern Israel found that Bedouin patients had an increased rate of Epstein-Barr virus expression in their tumor cells.
Objectives: To determine the influence of the patients' communities on the pattern of disease in HL.
Methods: We compared the clinical features, demographic data, stage at diagnosis, treatment modality and outcome, as well as laboratory findings, in four community-based subgroups. These groups comprised kibbutz residents (n=11), Bedouin (n=19), new immigrants from the former USSR (n=22), and town-dwellers (n=82).
Results: The Bedouin patients differed significantly from the new immigrants and town-dwellers, particularly regarding the rate of EBV sequences in the tumor tissues, and a poorer response to treatment. The kibbutz patients did not differ significantly from the other populations regarding most of the parameters studied, but showed an intermediate expression of EBV antigens compared to Bedouin patients and the rest of the cohort.
Conclusions: This study indicates that HL may behave differently in different population groups in a given geographic area. Notably, the Bedouin patients showed markedly different clinical and biological patterns of this malignancy.
HL= Hodgkin's lymphoma
EBV= Epstein-Barr virus