NK/T-cell lymphomas are extranodal EBV-related malignancies, mostly of NK-cell and occasionally of T-cell lineage. They are divided into nasal, non-nasal, and disseminated subtypes. Nasal NK/T-cell lymphomas involve the nose, nasopharynx and the upper aerodigestive tract. Non-nasal NK/T-cell lymphomas involve the skin, gastrointestinal tract, testis and other sites. Disseminated NK/T-cell lymphoma involves multiple organs, and may present with a leukemic phase. Initial evaluation requires positron emission tomography computed tomography (PET/CT) and quantification of circulating EBV DNA. Radiotherapy alone is inadequate with frequent relapses. Anthracycline-containing regimens are ineffective. Regimens incorporating asparaginase are currently the standard. For stage I/II disease, combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy is recommended. For stage III/IV disease, asparaginase-containing regimens are needed. Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is of limited efficacy, whereas allogeneic HSCT may be useful in patients with stage III/IV and relapsed diseases. Immunotherapy with antibodies against CD30, programmed cell death protein 1 and CD38 is promising.
Keywords: Asparaginase; EBV; Immunotherapy; NK/T-cell lymphoma; Nasal; Non-nasal; PD1; PET/CT.
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