by Xin Huang, Bouke Hepkema, Ilja Nolte, Kushi Kushekhar, Theo Jongsma, Rianne Veenstra, Sibrand Poppema, Zifen Gao, Lydia Visser, Arjan Diepstra, Anke van den Berg
HLA-A2 protects from EBV+ classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) in Western Europe, but it is unknown whether this protective effect also exists in the Chinese population. We investigated the association of HLA-A2 and specific common and well documented HLA-A2 subtypes with EBV stratified cHL patients (n?=?161) from the northern part of China. Quantitative-PCR and sequence-based subtyping was performed to identify HLA-A2 positive samples and their subtypes. 67 (42%) of the cHL patients were EBV+. There were no significant differences in percentages of HLA-A2 positivity between cHL and controls (65% vs 66%) and between EBV+ and EBV- cHL patients (70% vs 61%). The frequency distribution of HLA-A2 subtypes was significantly different between EBV stratified cHL subgroups and controls. This difference was most striking for the HLA-A*02:07 type with a frequency of 38% in EBV+ cHL, 8% in EBV- cHL and 20% in controls. Significant differences were also observed for the HLA-A*02:07, HLA-A2 (non-02:07) and the A2-negative typings between EBV+ cHL vs controls (p?=?0.028), EBV- cHL vs controls (p?=?0.045) and EBV+ vs EBV- cHL cases (p?=?2×10-5). In conclusion, HLA-A*02:07 is a predisposing allele for EBV+ cHL and a protective allele for EBV- cHL in the northern Chinese population.