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

Lymphedema is abnormal swelling due to the presence of excess lymphatic fluid within the tissues. This swelling occurs when the...

Is there such a thing as an average cost of chemotherapy? No. Not even close. In order for there to be an average cost of chemotherapy, one would...

RICE is an acronym for an anti-cancer treatment that expresses a combination chemotherapeutic regimen. This regimen is written variously as "R+ICE...

The Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index, or FLIPI, is a standardized guide to help oncological diagnosticians accurately calculate...

This entry looks at one of those types of lymphoma sometimes referred to simply as abdominal lymphoma. 'Lymphoma' is an umbrella term that...

Usually, even if a subtype of lymphoma is known to be indolent (slow-growing), it is considered a malignant...

One of the greatest fears of lymphoma survivors is that they’ll relapse and have to undergo treatment again. This fear is normal but awful to...

Large Cell Lymphoma (LCL) is typically an aggressive (fast growing) cancer of either the B cell or T cell type. They are one of the most common...

Indolent Lymphoma, or Indolent Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas (NHLs), are slow growing, low-grade cancers (as opposed to ...

A lymphoma diagnosis is not difficult to determine once a patient and doctor begin to look for signs of cancer...

A B cell is a type of lymphocyte that produces antibodies to fight infections. These are the most prevalent lymphocytes in the bloodstream and are...

What causes lymphoma is not well known. DNA mutations may be what causes lymphoma to develop but what triggers these mutations is...

Hodgkin's Lymphoma a.k.a. Hodgkin's Disease is a malignant (cancerous) growth of cells in the lymphatic system...

Lymphoma is a general term for cancer in the lymph system. The lymph system is made up of many cells and organs, including the lymph nodes, thymus...

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