Two elderly women suffering from lymphoma—lymphosarcoma and Hodgkin’s disease respectively—had positive L.E. cell tests.
In one case the L.E. phenomenon was strongly and consistently positive, as were tests for thyroglobulin antibody and rheumatoid factor; treatment with radioactive phosphorus was beneficial.
The origin of antinuclear and other autoantibodies in lymphoma could be attributed to (a) the development of self-reactivity by the neoplastic lymphoid cells themselves, (b) to weakness of homeostatic control over other self-reactive cells in neoplastic lymphoid tissue, or (c) to the release of a range of abnormal clones, possibly as a consequence of a combination of germinal and somatic mutation.