From the archives of MD Anderson Cancer Center: A case of concurrent follicular lymphoma and Langerhans cell sarcoma with a review of the literature

Mehrnoosh Tashakori, Beenu Thakral, Guilin Tang, Joseph D. Khoury, L. Jeffrey Medeiros

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Transdifferentiation of follicular lymphoma to a Langerhans cell neoplasm is rarely reported and not well understood. Here we present a case, review the literature and discuss some of the biological underpinnings of lineage switch of B cells to histiocytes/Langerhans cells. A 31-year-old woman had follicular lymphoma (FL) and Langerhans cell sarcoma (LCS) co-localized above and below diaphragm. The FL was low-grade, had typical morphologic features, and was positive for CD10, BCL-2, and BCL-6. The LCS was cytologically atypical with necrosis and a high mitotic rate, and the immunophenotype supported Langerhans cell lineage positive for CD1a, CD207/langerin, and S-100 protein. Both tumors carried IGH-BCL2 and the LCS cells had immunophenotypic evidence of a residual B cell program, supporting the notion that these neoplasms are clonally related. The case reported is unusual because the patient was young and both diseases presented simultaneously, before any therapy. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis showed that the LCS was negative for BRAF V600E and phospho-ERK, suggesting that the LCS belongs to the known subset of Langerhans cell tumors lacking BRAF V600E and MAP2K1 mutations. Concurrent occurrence of FL and Langerhans cell neoplasm is an unusual phenomenon, with 10 cases reported previously: 4 Langerhans cell histiocytosis and 6 Langerhans cell sarcoma, including this case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151720
JournalAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Dedifferentiation
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Langerhans cell sarcoma
  • MAPK pathway
  • Transdifferentiation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review

Cite this