Peripheral T-cell lymphoma represents a rare aggressive (fast-growing) type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, in which mature white blood cells, called T-cells,
and natural killer (NK) cells become cancerous. This type of white blood cells plays a key role regarding the immune response of the body.
The exact cause of PTCL is unknown, but it is possibly a result of exposure to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), also called human herpes virus 4 (HHV-4), or to the human T-cell leukaemia virus-1 (HTLV-1). Despite many different subtypes of PTCL, symptoms are usually similar way: widespread, enlarged, painless lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin. Other symptoms include, enlargement of liver and spleen, tiredness, night sweats, fever, weight loss and skin rash. PTCL most commonly affects people over 60 years, being more frequently in men than in women. Since PTCL is a fast-growing cancer it needs to be treated quickly. Treatment options include combination of chemotherapeutic regimens, localized radiotherapy, stem cell transplants and steroid therapy.
Source: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; MacMillan.org; leukaemia.org; Francine M. Foss et al., Blood journal (2011)