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A transient benign lymph node-based proliferation of T-cells simulating non-Hodgkin lymphoma in a patient with psoriasis treated with tumor necrosis factor alpha and CD11a antagonists

M Yadira Hurley, Mary Noel George, Craig L Leonardi and John L Frater*

Author affiliations

Departments of Dermatology (Hurley, George, Leonardi) and Pathology (Frater), Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2008, 3:13  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-3-13

Published: 26 March 2008



Therapeutic biologic agents are uncommonly associated with lymphoma.

Case presentation

We report a patient with psoriasis treated with the biologic agents efalizumab (Raptiva®) and etanercept (Enbrel®), who developed painless lymphadenopathy with peripheral lymphocytosis during treatment, simulating a non-Hodgkin lymphoma clinically and pathologically. Lymphocytosis and lymphadenopathy spontaneously remitted following cessation of etanercept therapy and have not recurred.


Distinction between clinically benign lymphoid proliferations related to antipsoriasis therapy and malignant lymphoma avoids the unnecessary use of anti-lymphoma chemotherapy.