Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma Treatment

lymphatic system

A cancer of the lymphatic system, which is a part of the body’s immune system, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) also is referred to as non-Hodgkin lymphoma or lymphoma. In this form of cancer, two types of white blood cells called B-lymphocytes (B-cells) and T-lymphocytes (T-cells) that work to fight off infections become cancerous. Approximately 65,000 new cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are expected to be diagnosed in 2010.1

There are many different forms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which are typically classified by cell type (B-cell lymphomas or T-cell lymphomas) or rate of growth (aggressive/fast-growing or indolent/slow-growing).

Peripheral T-cell lymphoma

Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) describes a group of rare and fast-growing lymphomas (including, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, enteropathy type T-cell lymphoma, extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma, and unspecified peripheral T-cell lymphoma) that develop from T-cells in different stages of maturity. These types of lymphomas typically present in people older than 60 years of age.

Treatment options for peripheral T-cell lymphomas may include one of more of the following treatment options:

Given intravenously or by mouth, a combination of one or more chemotherapy agents is usually given to treat the various forms of peripheral T-cell lymphoma.
Radiation Therapy
The use of high-energy rays to kill lymphoma cells may be given in combination with chemotherapy if the peripheral T-cell lymphoma is diagnosed in an early stage of the disease.
These type of therapies are specifically designed to attack a particular target or component found on the surface of the lymphoma cells. They are referred to as monoclonal antibodies, because they are man-made versions of antibodies, or proteins that the body makes to fight off infections. Drugs such as Campath or Ontak may be given when chemotherapy and radiation therapy have stopped working.
Stem Cell Transplantation
If the peripheral T-cell lymphoma recurs after initial treatment, a stem cell transplant may be considered in some patients. This form of treatment occurs when high doses of chemotherapy or radiation are given to destroy bone marrow cells (where white blood cells develop) and then are replaced with healthy stem cells, which form new white blood cells, previously removed from the patient or a donor.


  1. National Cancer Institute. Non Hodgkin Lymphoma Cancer Home Page. Accessed on January 2, 2011.


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