The World Health Organization Classification

In 1995, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Society for Hematopathology and the European Association for Haematopathology undertook a joint project to produce a comprehensive classification of all hematologic neoplasms including those of myeloid lymphoid and histiocytic lineage. Since the REAL classification had only recently been proposed and was in the process of clinical evaluation, the task proposed for lymphoid neoplasms was to update and revise the REAL classification with input from additional experts in order to broaden the consensus. The formation of the steering committee and 10 subcommittees, each charged with the review of a specific group of neoplasms, involved 52 expert histopathologists and hematologists. In recognition of the importance of clinical relevance, a clinical advisory committee of 35 experts in the fields of leukemia and lymphoma from around the world was convened. The subcommittees and the clinical advisory committee met separately, the former on many occasions, and recommendations were fed to the steering committee prior to a joint meeting of all committee members that was held in November 1997 at Airlie House in Virginia. The aim of this final meeting was to reach agreement on particular controversies most of which had arisen consequent to actual use or, in effect, field testing of the REAL classification, to ensure that there was common ground between pathologists and clinicians and to agree on the final format. The agenda of the Airlie House meeting comprised a series of topics and questions that had been proposed by members of the subcommittee and the clinical advisory committee. In the case of the lymphomas, discussion of these topics served to refine and update the REAL classification, which could then be subsumed into the WHO scheme.

0 0

Post a comment