Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma, not Otherwise Specified (PTCL-NOS)

Cancer Treat Res. 2019:176:83-98. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-99716-2_4.


Peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS) is a World Health Organization (WHO)-defined diagnostic category within the highly heterogeneous group of mature post-thymic T-cell neoplasms. It is the most common subtype of mature post-thymic T-cell neoplasms globally, accounting for up to 35% of PTCL cases in Europe and North America. PTCL-NOS is a diagnosis of exclusion, comprising several disease entities that differ in biology, clinical presentation, and outcome. The diagnosis of PTCL-NOS is made based on the presence of typical histopathological features of lymphoma, an aberrant T-cell immunophenotype, often with a loss of CD5 and CD7, and a clonal T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangement, in the appropriate clinical context. Unlike other types of T-cell lymphoma, recurrent mutations to assist with the diagnosis have not been identified. Patients often present with advanced stage. Prognosis is poor, with a 5-year overall survival (OS) of 20-30%. Anthracycline-based combination chemotherapy remains the most frequently used frontline strategy, with overall response rates (ORR) of 50-60%, and complete response rates (CRR) of 20-30%. Prospective studies with intent-to-treat analyses have shown that consolidation with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) results in progression-free survivals (PFS) that compare favorably with historical cohorts and may improve OS in selected patient populations. However, randomized data are still lacking. Over the past decade, therapeutic agents approved in the relapsed and refractory setting have produced response rates of up to 33% and median PFS up to 18 months. Overall, outcomes remain poor and there is a dire need for more effective treatments. This review discusses the latest information on the diagnosis and treatment of PTCL-NOS.

Keywords: Gene expression profiling; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Novel therapies; Peripheral T-cell lymphoma; Somatic mutations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral* / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral* / drug therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Treatment Outcome