A peripheral blood eosinophilia was found at presentation in 193 of 1260 (15%) patients with Hodgkin's disease who had been entered into clinical studies by the British National Lymphoma Investigation (BNLI). Eosinophilia as a component of a general leucocytosis conferred no survival advantage. Eosinophilia without a general leucocytosis was present in 95 patients, and this selective eosinophilia was associated with a clear survival advantage. The association of selective eosinophilia and improved survival was limited to patients with mixed cellularity and grade I nodular sclerosis histology. Selective eosinophilia was found to be a good prognostic indicator both in local and generalised disease. Its survival advantage seemed to lie in the response to second line treatment following relapse.
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