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

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare type of B-Cell lymphoma. It presents itself in the mantle zone of lymph nodes...

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 prognosis varies greatly depending on the type of lymphoma. There are more than 35 types of lymphoma, including 5 types of...

Lymphomas are classified based on the type of cells involved. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are marked by mutations of...

Hodgkin's Lymphoma (Disease) has a colorful history: It was not the first cancer discovered but it was one of the first in which treatments were...

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...

Cancer bracelets are undeniably popular, and if purchased through reliable sources such as major charities, they help contribute to the fight...

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

Lymphoma is a cancer of the b- and t-cell lymphocytes, part of the immune system. They account for the most frequent head and neck malignancies....

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, causing B-cell or...

Lymphoma is a cancer affecting the white blood cells (lymphocytes) of the body's immune system. The cells begin to grow abnormally and much faster...

As a kind of cancer, lymphoma attacks the lymphocytes and lymph nodes that are part of the immune system. Head and neck lymphoma results when...

Some cancers have clear environmental causes. Oral cancer is strongly tied to the use of chewing tobacco, and lung cancer is well-known to be much...

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