- BLACKWELL PUBLISHING ASIA
The World Health Organization (WHO) classification of malignant lymphoma presented a list of disease entities well defined by clinical, immunological and genetic features. Therefore, the current diagnosis of peripheral T/NK-cell lymphomas (PTNKLs) essentially requires the inclusion of anatomical sites of disease and phenotypical features. We analyzed 408 Japanese cases of PTNKLs in order to clarify the relationship between anatomical sites of disease and phenotypical features and to translate the functional subsets of T and NK cells into their diagnoses for further understanding lymphomatic biology. The T/NK-cell lymphoma entities were allocated into three categories: (i) cytotoxic memory T-cell and/or NK-cell lymphoma (n = 151) consisting of extranodal NK/T-cell tumors other than mycosis fungoides (MF); (ii) non-cytotoxic memory T-cell lymphoma (n = 142) consisting of nodal and cutaneous tumors such as angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, adult T-cell lymphoma/leukemia and MF; and (iii) anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (n = 110) that has unique features and might be regarded as cytotoxic 'naive' T-cell lymphoma. Overall, these three categories were significantly correlated with age of onset, anatomical sites, the level of expression of cytotoxic molecules and CD45RO, and association with Epstein-Barr virus. This concept might provide a new insight enabling further understanding of the interrelationships among WHO T/NK-cell disease entities.
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