The human type-C retrovirus, HTLV, in Blacks from the Caribbean region, and relationship to adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma

Int J Cancer. 1982 Sep 15;30(3):257-64. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910300302.


Type-C RNA tumor viruses have been implicated in the etiology of naturally occurring leukemias and lymphomas of animals. Human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus (HTLV) is the first human virus of this class consistently identified in association with a specific type of human leukemia/lymphoma. The isolation of HTLV was made possible by the ability to grow mature T-cells in tissue culture usually with T-cell growth factor (TCGF). We now report a cluster of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma among Blacks from the Caribbean in which all eight cases are positive for HTLV virus and/or antibody. These patients have disease that appears indistinguishable from Japanese adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma which, as we have also reported, is associated with HTLV in over 90% of cases. The finding of HTLV antibodies in some of the normal population in the Caribbean and Japan, and the clustering of a specific form of T-cell leukemia/lymphoma in these virus-endemic areas, suggest that HTLV infection may be associated with the occurrence of a distinctive clinico-pathologic entity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / immunology*
  • Leukemia / pathology
  • Lymphoma / immunology*
  • Lymphoma / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Retroviridae / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Tumor Virus Infections / immunology*
  • West Indies


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral