NHL Cyberfamily

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma support


Lymphoma classification


Lymphoma classification

WHO classification system. Developed in 2008 by the WHO, and adopted by most haematologists/oncologists in 2009 it represents the latest update. There is a link at the bottom of this page to older systems. Click on any type of lymphoma to go to the page with information about that type.

2008 WHO classification.

Mature B-cell neoplasms

Mature T-cell neoplasms

*These represent provisional entities or provisional subtypes of other neoplasms.

Source information from Blood Journal and the 2009 ASH education series

Additional information about the 2008 WHO classification.

The 2008 WHO classification of lymphoid neoplasms and beyond: evolving concepts and practical applications

The chart below outlines what types of lymphoma correspond with what stage of B-cell development.  

Indolent / Aggressive classification

The following table classifies the lymphoproliferative disorders according to whether they belong to the indolent (slow growing) or aggressive subtype. This includes lymphomas, leukaemias, and myelomas.  This is based on the previous REAL/WHO classification system not the current 2008 WHO system.


Indolent lymphoma/leukemia

  1. A. Follicular lymphoma (follicular small cleaved cell [grade 1], follicular mixed small cleaved and large cell [grade 2], diffuse small cleaved cell)
  2. B. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma
  3. C. Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia)
  4. D. Extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (MALT lymphoma
  5. E. Nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (monocytoid B-cell lymphoma)
  6. F. Splenic marginal zone lymphoma (splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes)
  7. G. Hairy cell leukemia
  8. H. Mycosis fungoides/Sezary syndrome
  9. I. T-cell granular lymphocytic leukemia
  10. J. Primary cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma/lymphomatoid papulosis (CD30+)
  11. K. Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma  

Aggressive lymphoma/leukemia

  • A. Diffuse large cell lymphoma (includes diffuse mixed cell, diffuse large cell, immunoblastic, T-cell rich large B-cell lymphoma) Distinguish:
    • 1. Mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma
    • 2. Follicular large cell lymphoma (grade 3)
    • 3. Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (CD30+)
    • 4. Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type
    • 5. Lymphomatoid granulomatosis (angiocentric pulmonary B-cell lymphoma)
    • 6. Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma
    • 7. Peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified
    • 8. Subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma
    • 9. Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma
    • 10. Enteropathy-type T-cell lymphoma
    • 11. Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma
  • B. Burkitt lymphoma/Burkitt cell leukaemia/Burkitt-like lymphoma
  • C. Precursor B- or T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukaemia
  • D. Primary CNS lymphoma
  • E. Adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma (HTLV 1+)
  • F. Mantle cell lymphoma
  • G. Polymorphic post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD)
  • H. AIDS-related lymphoma
  • I. True histiocytic lymphoma
  • J. Primary effusion lymphoma
  • K. Aggressive NK-cell leukemia/blastic NK-cell lymphoma
  • L. B- or T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia  

Click here to view older classification systems