Pathology and biology of peripheral T-cell lymphomas

Histopathology. 2011 Jan;58(1):49-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2010.03704.x.


Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) represent a heterogeneous group of more than 20 neoplastic entities derived from mature T cells and natural killer (NK) cells involved in innate and adaptive immunity. With few exceptions these malignancies, which may present as disseminated, predominantly extranodal or cutaneous, or predominantly nodal diseases, are clinically aggressive and have a dismal prognosis. Their diagnosis and classification is hampered by several difficulties, including a significant morphological and immunophenotypic overlap across different entities, and the lack of characteristic genetic alterations for most of them. Although there is increasing evidence that the cell of origin is a major determinant for the delineation of several PTCL entities, however, the cellular derivation of most entities remains poorly characterized and/or may be heterogeneous. The complexity of the biology and pathophysiology of PTCLs has been only partly deciphered. In recent years, novel insights have been gained from genome-wide profiling analyses. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge on the pathobiological features of peripheral NK/T-cell neoplasms, with a focus on selected disease entities manifesting as tissue infiltrates primarily in extranodal sites and lymph nodes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Extranodal NK-T-Cell / pathology
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / genetics
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / pathology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology