This study relates the cytologic types of the classification of malignant lymphoma of Lukes and Collins to the results of immunologic surface marker studies as part of a systematic multiparameter study of 299 cases of non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The results support the hypothesis that malignant lymphomas are neoplasms of the immune system and involve the B- and T-cell systems and, rarely, histiocytes. The morphologic features of the cytologic types of Lukes and Collins are predictive of the subtypes of lymphoma and considerably more effective than the immunologic surface marker techniques in identifying homogeneous groups. There are considerable methodologic and interpretive problems that are evaluated in detail. The verification of the B- and T-cell subtypes of the Lukes and Collins classification indicates that the time has come to change from the terminology and classification of lymphomas of the past to a modern immunologic approach.
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