Primary Cutaneous NK/T-cell Lymphoma, Nasal Type and CD56-positive Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma: A Cellular Lineage and Clinicopathologic Study of 60 Patients From Asia


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Abstract

Primary cutaneous, extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type (PC-ENKTL), is a rare Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated neoplasm with poorly defined clinicopathologic features. We performed a multinational retrospective study of PC-ENKTL and CD56-positive EBV-negative peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PC-CD56+PTCL) in Asia in an attempt to elucidate their clinicopathologic features. Using immunohistochemistry for T-cell receptors (TCRs), in situ hybridization for EBV, and TCR gene rearrangement, we classified 60 tumors into 51 with PC-ENKTL (20 of NK-cell, 17 T-cell, and 14 indeterminate lineages) and 9 with PC-CD56+PTCL. Tumors of T-cell origin accounted for 46% of PC-ENKTLs with half of these cases being TCR-silent. As compared with T-lineage tumors, PC-ENKTLs of NK-cell lineage had more frequent involvement of regional lymph nodes and more frequently CD8-negative and CD56-positive. Cases of PC-ENKTL showed more frequent tumor necrosis, younger age, and a higher frequency of CD16 and CD30 expression than cases of PC-CD56+PTCL. CD56-positive T-lineage PC-ENKTL tumors (n=8) had more localized disease in the TNM (tumor-node-metastasis) staging and were more often of γδ T-cell origin compared with cases of PC-CD56+PTCL (n=9). PC-ENKTLs and PC-CD56+PTCLs were equally aggressive, with a 5-year overall survival rate of 25%. Tumor necrosis and CD16 expression may serve as useful surrogates for differentiating PC-ENKTL from PC-CD56+PTCL. A single lesion, an elevated lactate dehydrogenase level, and the presence of B symptoms were independent poor prognostic factors for PC-ENKTL in multivariate analysis. Further studies with more cases are warranted to delineate the clinicopathologic features and significance of EBV in these rare lymphomas.

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