Evaluation of FoxP3 Expression in Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma

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Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) are biologically heterogeneous and have not been successfully correlated with specific T-cell subsets. We investigated PTCL, not otherwise specified (NOS), angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AILT), and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) cases for FoxP3 expression to determine a potential derivation from regulatory T (Treg) cells. One PTCL-NOS case strongly expressed FoxP3 in the neoplastic T cells and showed unusual histomorphologic features with a dense infiltration of the lymph node by immunoblastic T cells and almost no reactive background infiltrate. The patient died shortly after diagnosis, suggesting that biologic properties of Treg cells may have contributed to the rapidly fatal clinical course. All remaining PTCL-NOS and AILT cases showed FoxP3 positivity only in the reactive infiltrate. Among ALCL cases, 4 of 6 ALK+ cases displayed weak and inhomogeneous FoxP3 expression in the tumor cells. FoxP3+ PTCL-NOS presumably derived from bona fide Treg cells occurs but seems rare in the Western population.

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