Nasal Lymphoma

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This entry looks at nasal lymphoma, better known by its WHO classification, Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type (or simply nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma), one of the subtypes of lymphoma.

'Lymphoma' is an umbrella term that loosely refers to several dozen independent categorical types and subtypes of cancers of the lymphatic system. In the past it has also been called angiocentric lymphoma, polymorphic reticulosis and lethal midline granuloma.

Nasal lymphoma

This subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is of course of T-cell origin, and is considered a very rare NHL variant. It is not at all common in Western countries, and when it is discovered, it is typically found in populations with ethnic backgrounds in Asian and Latin American countries, where it is much more prevalent. Nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma is also widely associated with infection by the Epstein-Barr virus.

Treatment and prognosis of nasal lymphoma

Currently there is no consensus as to the best therapeutic response to this lymphoma subtype, although external beam radiation and combination chemotherapy are often used. Like many other lymphomas of T-cell origin, nasal lymphoma is often a highly aggressive cancer. The general prognosis for nasal lymphoma is rather poor, with a mean survival time from diagnosis of approximately two and a half years.


Gaal K et al. Sinonasal NK/T-cell lymphomas in the United States. Am J Surg Pathol. 2000 Nov;24(11):1511-7

Massone C et al. Subcutaneous, blastic natural killer (NK), NK/T-cell, and other cytotoxic lymphomas of the skin: a morphologic, immunophenotypic, and molecular study of 50 patients. Am J Surg Pathol. 2004 Jun;28(6):719-35

Aozasa K et al. Nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma: epidemiology and pathogenesis. Int J Hematol. 2008 Mar;87(2):110-7.

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