Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) is a lymphoproliferative disorder hallmarked by a distinctive type of neoplastic cells, the Hodgkin and Reed/Sternberg (H/RS) cells. H/RS cells represent only a minor cell population of the total tumour mass and are surrounded by an infiltrate composed of mostly inflammatory cells. This composition results from the reciprocal release of soluble factors, such as cytokines and chemokines and other growth factors. In this context, the chemokine CCL17, also known as thymus and activation-related chemokine (TARC), emerges to have important biological functions, as it is expressed in high amounts by H/RS cells and highly elevated in the serum of cHL patients. CCL17 recruits Th2 cells and regulatory T cells that account for a beneficial microenvironment for H/RS cells. In this review, we summarise the current knowledge on CCL17 in cHL and other leukaemias and lymphomas and provide an outlook into clinical applications of CCL17 as a disease biomarker and as a therapeutic target in cHL.
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