T Cell Lymphoma: Causes, Classification, and Diagnosis

In T cell lymphoma, T lymphocytes, which are an essential part of the body's immune response, become malignant. T cell lymphomas account for about 15% of non-Hodgkin lymphomas in the US; they are more common in Asia.

Classification of T Cell Lymphoma

T cell lymphoma can be classified into various subtypes depending upon the shape size and other cellular characteristics of the tumors. Classification of these tumors is also complicated with most tumors being different from the others. In general, T cell lymphomas can be divided into several categories:

Diagnosis

Lymphomas can arise from the lymph nodes situated all over the body and are named according to the tissue of origin. Therefore, an evaluation of cell types present in biopsy tissue samples is the only definitive tool to identify a T cell lymphoma as opposed to another type of lymphoma such as a B-cell lymphoma.

Causes

The exact cause of most T cell lymphomas is unknown. However, it is likely that genetic changes that take place during antigen processing and presentation result in an aggressively dividing cell population that may give rise to T cell lymphoma.

Adult T cell lymphoma/leukemia

A definitive infective agent, a virus named as HTLV-1 has been shown to cause Adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma.

Adult T cell lymphomas are caused by the virus Human Lymphotropic Virus-1 (HTLV-1). This is an aggressive lymphoma with four subtypes:

  • Acute
  • Lymphocytic
  • Chronic
  • Smouldering

The first two forms are quite aggressive. Chronic and smouldering adult T cell leukemias are slow growing. Although the HTLV-1 virus is present in some ethnic populations like Japan, South America and Caribbean people, only 2-5 percent of the total number of infected people develop the disease.

Treatment

T cell lymphoma treatment involves a combination of chemotherapy regimens. A few commonly used therapy regimens are:

  • CHOP: This regime comprises of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone.
  • EPOCH: This strategy includes etoposide, doxorubicin, vincristine, cyclophosphamide and prednisone
  • ICE: This regime includes ifosfamide, carboplatin and etoposide
  • GND: Gemcitabine in combination with vinorelbine and doxorubicin are administered in this regime. This drug combination is seen to be very effective in patients suffering from a relapse after having undergone treatment with the CHOP or EPOCH regimens.
  • Cancer Patients have more options through clinical studies. Follow this link to learn more and find a clinical study opportunity near you.

The choice of therapeutic agents should be made in consultation with your oncologist considering other risk factors (eg. Age, health, aggressive or indolent tumor etc.).

Related Articles

Photo: Pixabay

More Articles

More Articles

Lymphoma patients may have the option to participate in clinical trials, gaining access to an experimental treatment before it is widely available...

Since there are several subtypes of T cell lymphoma, there will necessarily be several non-specific T cell lymphoma...

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

After surviving lymphoma treatments, patients should be on the lookout for late effects. These are symptoms that arise well after treatment has...

Canine lymphoma is a fairly common cancer in American dogs. The most commonly seen lymphoma in America is a type called Lymphosarcoma, although...

Advances in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma have resulted in remarkable survival rates, even for...

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

The short answer: both. Let's begin with a simple definition of radiation: Radiation is the energy emitted from an energy source. That energy...

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

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

When you consider that the adult human body has anywhere from 300 to 700 lymph nodes, the better question might not be where ARE they located, but...

This entry looks at a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma called true histiocytic lymphoma (THL), also referred to as diffuse histiocytic lymphoma, and...

Lymphomatous meningitis [LM], also known as leukemic meningitis, is an extremely serious peripheral cancer that attacks the tissue that covers the...

Hodgkin's Disease—also referred to as Hodgkin's Lymphoma, these are the exact same diseases, just...

Intravascular lymphoma is a subtype of 'Lymphoma', an umbrella term that loosely refers to several dozen...