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April 23, 1982

Management of Lymphoma

JAMA. 1982;247(16):2234. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320410020019

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To the Editor.—  The review by John G. Allison, MD, of the surgeon's approach to the patient with known or suspected lymphoma (1981; 246:2843) omits an important step that must be taken immediately after tissue is excised, ie, freezing a portion of the biopsy specimen for surface marker studies and functional lymphocyte evaluation. The results of these procedures are useful in the differential diagnosis of lymphoma and the classification of lymphomas for purposes of therapy and prognosis. For example, when studying a case in which it is difficult to distinguish between atypical hyperplasia and lymphoma, the finding of a polyclonal surface marker pattern is important evidence favoring the former.If the patient is to receive the best available care, the primary physician and surgeon should involve a pathologist as a clinical consultant in planning the biopsy strategy as well as in the histological evaluation of tissues excised by the surgeon.