T cell lymphoma


T cell lymphoma refers to four types of lymphomas that affects the T cells and causes them to grow out of control. It is a kind of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) and is normally associated with T cell leukemia virus-1 and Epstein Barr. The defect can be found in both children and adults, which can be treated in a similar way any other leukemia is cured.

Types and treatment options of T cell lymphoma

Generally it is categorized into four types

1. Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL): AITL is an aggressive and rare kind of peripheral T-cell lymphoma that develops in the blood and lymph vessels and weakens the functionality of the immune system. Treatment involves using steroid to counterattack the symptoms such as joint pain and skin rash followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy where drugs such as doxorubicin and prednisone are used to destroy the cancer cells.

2. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL): CTCL is another form of T-cell lymphoma that is associated with skin. It affects the lymph nodes, blood and other internal organs are more likely to be found in men between 50-60. Treatment depends on how much the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and other part of the body. Systematic therapy or skin directed therapy are used to cure this defect. Combination chemotherapy is also used when patients do not respond well to single agent therapy.

3. Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL): It is another rare type of NHL and sub type of T cell lymphoma and can either appear on the skin, lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Treatment here also depends on the severity of the condition. If the cancer is detained in a single area, radiation or surgical method can provide complete remission, otherwise, chemotherapy along with radiotherapy is required to be done.

4. Extranodal T-cell lymphoma: Also known as nasal type, this is a rare kind of NHL that occurs in tissues and organs rather than the lymph nodes. It often affects the nasal passage, kidneys, skin, central nervous system, testicles, lungs, etc. Treatment is generally done with radiation therapy together with chemotherapy. Stem cell transplant is also used in a few cases, if the cancer doesn’t go away completely.


Side effects after the treatment of T cell lymphoma are:

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Drop in blood counts
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Post operative care

Follow up tests such as CT scans, PET/CT scans and X-Rays will be done once the treatment is completed.

The doctor will advise you to see for any signs and symptoms that shows the recurrence of the cancer.

Treatment may run for a long period of time in a few cases, depending on the age, gender and health condition of the patient. However, you will need to frequently visit the physician for health check ups, which will become less recurrent with time.