Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma

Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) is defined as a diverse group of aggressive 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 system 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 cancer that arises in the lymphoid tissues outside of the bone marrow such as lymph nodes, 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 leukemia (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. We would also encourage you to download our award winning mobile app, Focus on Lymphoma, which provides you comprehensive content and unique tools to help manage your disease.