Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma

Peripheral T-cellA type of white blood cell that participates in immune responses by destroying harmful substances or cells. lymphoma (PTCL) is defined as a diverse group of aggressive lymphomasLymphomas that are fast growing and generally need to be treated immediately. Also called intermediate-grade or high-grade lymphomas. that develop from mature-stage white blood cells called T-cells and natural killer (NK) cells.

PTCL is classified as a subtype of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). NHL affects two particular types of white blood cells: B-cells and T-cells. PTCL specifically affects T-cells, and results when T-cells develop and grow abnormally.

It is PTCL’s origin in the lymphatic systemThe channels, tissues and organs that store and carry lymphocytes that fight infection and other diseases. that gave it the name peripheral T-cell lymphoma. In the case of PTCL, the term “peripheral” does not refer to the extremities, but identifies PTCL as a cancerAbnormal cell growth that cannot be controlled by the body's natural defenses. Cancerous cells can grow and eventually form tumors. that arises in the lymphoid tissues outside of the bone marrowSpongy material found inside the bones containing stem cells that develop into three types of cells: red blood cells that deliver oxygen to the body and take away carbon dioxide; white blood cells that protect the body from infection; and platelets such as lymph nodesSmall bean-shaped glands located in the small vessels of the lymphatic system. There are thousands of lymph nodes located throughout the body, with clusters of them in the neck, under the arms, the chest, abdomen and groin. Lymph nodes filter lymph fluid, trapping and destroying potentially harmful bacteria and viruses., spleen, gastrointestinal tract, and skin.

Experts have found that the overall incidence and frequency of these subtypes varies geographically. PTCL, in general, is more common in Asia and the Caribbean. The most common subtype is called PTCL-not-otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS) and is most frequently diagnosed in individuals living in North America and Europe. Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is common in North America and Europe, whereas angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), the second most common subtype, is found more often in Europe. The types known as NK-/ T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL) and adult T-cell leukemiaDisease generally characterized by the overproduction of abnormal or immature white blood cells that circulate or are present in the blood. (ATLL) are most common in Asia.

Most PTCL subtypes are aggressive (fast-growing) lymphomas, including PTCL-NOS, AITL, ALCL, enteropathy-type T-cell lymphoma, and extranodal natural killer (NK) cell/T-cell lymphoma.

To learn more about PTCL, download the Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma Fact Sheet or visit FocusOnPTCL.org.