B-cell Lymphoma vs. T-cell Lymphoma: What Are The Differences Between The Two?

In non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, you have your B-cell lymphomas and you have your T-cell lymphomas.

Why B and Why T?

To begin, don't attach too much significance to the letters B and T; the people who assigned them didn't attach much, so you shouldn't either.

In fact, B-cells don't even get their name from research into human anatomy. They get it from research into bird anatomy, but the B isn't for "birds"; the B is for the site in birds where this specific type of blood cell matures, called the bursa of fabricius. Fortunately, in humans and many other mammals, B-cells mature in the bone marrow, allowing the B to continue to make sense.

Lymphoma Treatment Center

Insurance Accepted.
Innovative Lymphoma Treatments.
Call 415-343-6162 Today

Meanwhile, T-cells do get their name from human anatomy. Like in B-cells, the letter comes from the site where they mature; in this case, it is the thymus.

Prognoses and Incidence

The prognoses of most T-cell lymphomas are not that great; they're worse than the prognoses in most B-cell lymphomas.

B-cell five-year relative survival rates from the SEER statistics:

  • Localized disease: 82.3 percent
  • Regional disease: 75.2 percent
  • Metastatic disease: 63.6 percent

T-cell five-year relative survival rates from the SEER statistics:

  • Localized disease: 84.5 percent
  • Regional disease: 57.4 percent
  • Metastatic disease: 38.6 percent

As seen above, when caught early, the five-year relative survival rates are pretty equal, but when the disease has spread from the primary site, even just to regional areas, the prognosis begins to slip. When the disease is advanced, the relative survival rate nearly drops by half.

This is generally the case, not because T-cell lymphomas are so difficult to treat, but because T-cell lymphomas are so rare, and are therefore not studied as frequently as their B-cell counterparts. Approximately 85 percent of all non-Hodgkin's lymphomas diagnosed in the United States each year are of B-cell origin, leaving just 15 percent of diagnoses to be of T-cell origin.

Diagnosis

Finally, it should be added that B-cell lymphomas are much easier for pathologists to diagnose. Accurately diagnosing T-cell lymphomas, on the other hand, is extremely difficult, so any diagnosis of T-cell lymphoma should prompt a second opinion from a qualified blood pathologist.

You can read more about B-cell lymphomas by clicking here.

You can read more about T-cell lymphomas by clicking here.

Photo: Pexels

Lymphoma Treatment Center

Insurance Accepted.
Innovative Lymphoma Treatments.
Call 415-343-6162 Today

More Articles

More Articles

This entry looks at Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma in the lungs, clinically known as pulmonary lymphoma, one of the subtypes of lymphoma. 'Lymphoma' is an...

In order to prevent developing any subtype of lymphoma, it would be helpful to know the causes of lymphoma. Unfortunately, in virtually every case...

BEAM chemotherapy is an acronym representing a small family of combination chemotherapy regimens that are used chiefly as salvage regimens in the...

There are two types of cancer: benign and malignant. Benign cancers are the kind that don't spread and don't threaten one's life. Malignant...

The Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR - sometimes called sed rate or sedimentation rate) is a nonspecific screening test for various...

Blood counts can be used to identify disease and monitor patient health during cancer treatments. Though these tests cannot diagnose lymphoma on...

MALT lymphoma is a rare B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that typically runs an indolent or slow-growing clinical...

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is just one of 50-60 known B-cell subtypes of...

After some of the dust has settled, the thoughts of many new lymphoma patients turn to diet and nutrition. They want to know if, in the past,...

According to a study by Japanese researchers, the SMILE combination chemotherapy protocol is effective against extranodal natural killer/T-cell...

In a perfect world, every case of cancer would respond to, and be cured by first-line therapy. Unfortunately, it is not often the case. This is...

Patients treated with maintenance rituximab had three times longer progression-free survival. This is a summary of an article published in the...

Prednisone is a glucocorticosteroid (a steroid) used in the treatment of many types of cancers. It functions as an anti-inflammatory medicine that...

In 1964, researchers at the National Cancer Institute developed the first combination chemotherapy that cured a...

Since so many chemotherapy agents can affect a patient’s sex drive and fertility, thinking about these issues prior...