Null phenotype non-Hodgkin Lymphoma presenting as a large chest wall mass: case report
Sakina Sekkate, Mouna Kairouani, Nawfal Mellas, Hanane El Kabbaj, Hind M’rabti, Hassan Errihani
The Pan African Medical Journal. 2012;13:77. doi:10.11604/pamj.2012.13.77.1928

Innovations in Measles Elimination Innovations in Measles Elimination
"Better health through knowledge sharing and information dissemination "

Case report

Null phenotype non-Hodgkin Lymphoma presenting as a large chest wall mass: case report

Cite this: The Pan African Medical Journal. 2012;13:77. doi:10.11604/pamj.2012.13.77.1928

Received: 02/08/2012 - Accepted: 08/11/2012 - Published: 12/12/2012

Key words: Lymphoma, null phenotype, chest tumor, diagnosis

© Sakina Sekkate et al. The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Available online at:

Corresponding author: Sakina Sekkate, Department of Clinical Oncology, National Institute of Oncology, 10100, Rabat, Morocco (

Null phenotype non-Hodgkin Lymphoma presenting as a large chest wall mass: case report


Sakina Sekkate1,&, Mouna Kairouani1, Nawfal Mellas1, Hanane El Kabbaj2, Hind M’rabti1, Hassan Errihani1


1Department of Clinical Oncology, National Institute of Oncology, Rabat, Morocco, 2Department of Radiotherapy, National Institute of Oncology, 10100, Rabat, Morocco



&Corresponding author
Sakina Sekkate, Department of Clinical Oncology, National Institute of Oncology, 10100, Rabat, Morocco




Chest wall tumors arise from a large variety of malignant and benign etiologies, and present a diagnostic challenge for the clinician. The classification of chest wall tumors includes primary tumors, adjacent tumors with local invasion, metastatic lesions, and non neoplastic disease [1,2]. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma presenting as a solitary chest wall mass is not frequently seen [1].



Patient and observation

A 60-year-old woman with no history of tuberculosis, pyothorax or artificial pneumothorax therapy, presented 4 months before her admission an asthenia, fever, chills, and night sweats. Physical examination revealed a mass of 10 cm localised in lateral chest wall (Figure 1). Significant laboratory findings were as follows: haemoglobin: 9,3g/dL, erythrocyte sedimentation rate: 60 mm/h, LDH rate: 620 UI/ml. Computed tomographic scan confirmed the localisation in chest wall with invasion of the ribs (Figure 2)


A biopsy of the chest tumor was performed and revealed a non-Hodgkin lymphoma with null phenotype. Immunohistochemical staining of the specimen was positive for leukocyte common antigen, CD20, and Ki67 and negative for CD3, vimentin, desmin, chromogranin, neuron specific enolase, CD99, and actin.


The patient received four cycles of chemotherapy CHOP 21 (Cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m2 Intraveinously (IV) at day 1, doxorubicin 50 mg/m2 IV at day1, vincristine 1, 4 mg/m2 with a maximum total dose of 2 mg IV at day1 and prednisone 40 mg/m2/day per os from day 1 to 5) followed by local radiotherapy, total dose was 40 Gy delivered as 2 Gy daily fractions, 5 day per week. She had a complete response maintained for more than 7 months.




The majority of chest wall lesions arise from metastasis or invasion from adjacent malignancies [1]. Among primary chest wall tumors, chest wall lymphoma is extremely rare, accounting for less than 2% of chest wall soft tissue tumors [2,3]. Few cases of primary malignant lymphoma, arising from the sternum, the pleura or the rib have been reported. Primary bone lymphoma can result from any part of the skeleton. The most common tumor sites are the long bones (50% extremities), followed by the axial skeleton (44%) [2].


Our patient had a primary non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the ribs. Primary lymphoma of the bone (PLB), which was first reported by Oberling, [4] accounts for approximately 4.7% of extranodal lymphomas. The majority of cases occur in long bones, spine, or pelvic, and rib involvement is rare (2% to 15% of cases of PLB). According to a review by Ostrowski and associates, the mean age at presentation was 46 years with male predominance. The most frequent symptoms are pain, swelling, fever, night sweats, and body weight loss, as in other lymphoma conditions. [5] Because imaging study of chest wall tumor suggesting PLB is not diagnostic, a histologic specimen is needed [6].


The treatment in general is conservative, based on the stage of disease. PBL therapy has envolved from radiotherapy as a standalone strategy (since the 1960s) to combined modality therapy (chemotherapy and radiotherapy) [4]. There have also been a few reports of patients treated with chemotherapy alone [2,3]. There is no definitive therapeutic strategy. Local radiation is recommended, and additional systemic chemotherapy seems to be effective [6]. Recently, Mavrogenis et al. [7], reported the role of surgery for heamatologic neoplasms of bone about 205 patients treated from 1985 to 2009, the survival to death was improved after wild resection for lymphoma and plasmacytoma. But no statistical difference was noted in survival to local recurrence between wide and intralesional surgery.




Primary chest lymphoma is rare; therefore, the therapeutic management is unclear. Data on the treatment and evolution of this disease should be reported.



Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.




We would like to thank the department of radiology.



Authors’ contributions

All the authors have contributed to this work. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.




Figure 1: the chest wall tumor measuring 10 cm in diameter

Figure 2: computed tomography scan of the chest: soft tissue mass lesion in posterior chest wall with thorax extension accompanied by pleural thickening




  1. Hsu PK, Hsu HS, Li AF et al. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Presenting as a large chest wall lymphoma. Ann Thorac Surg. 2006 Apr;81(4):1214-8. This article on PubMed

  2. Tateishi U, Gladish GW, Kusumoto M et al. Chest wall tumors: radiologic findings and pathologic correlation: part 2. Malignant tumors. Radiographics. 2003 Nov-Dec;23(6):1491-508. This article on PubMed

  3. KKing RM, Pairolero PC, Trastek VF et al. Primary chest wall tumors: factors affecting survival. Ann Thorac Surg. 1986 Jun;41(6):597-601. This article on PubMed

  4. Oberling C. Les réticulosarcomes et les réticuloendothéli-osarcomes de la moelle osseuse (sarcomes d’Ewing). Bull Assoc Fr Cancer. 1928; 17:259-63

  5. Durr HR, Muller PE, Hiller E, Maier M, Baur A, Jansson V et al. Malignant lymphoma of bone. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2002; 122:10-6. This article on PubMed

  6. Tabatabai A, Hashemi M, Ahmadinejad M et al. Primary chest wall lymphoma with no history of tuberculous pyothorax: Diagnosis and treatment. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008 Dec;136(6):1472-5. This article on PubMed

  7. Mavrogenis AF, Angelini A, Pala E et al. The role of surgery for heamatologic neoplasms of bone. Acta Orthop Belg. 2012 Jun;78(3):382-92. This article on PubMed




















The Pan African Medical Journal articles are archived on Pubmed Central. Access PAMJ archives on PMC here

Volume 33 (May - August 2019)

Article tools

PDF in process
Contact the corresponding author
Download to Citation Manager
Reference Manager


Null phenotype
Chest tumor

Rate this article


PAMJ is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics
PAMJ Authors services
Next abstract

PAMJ is published in collaboration with the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET)
Currently tracked by: DOAJ, AIM, Google Scholar, AJOL, EBSCO, Scopus, Embase, IC, HINARI, Global Health, PubMed Central, PubMed/Medline, Ulrichsweb, More to come . Member of COPE.

ISSN: 1937-8688. © 2019 - Pan African Medical Journal. All rights reserved