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Nasal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma: clinical, histological, virological, and genetic features

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Abstract

Nasal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma (NNKTL) is a clinical illness characterized by progressive unrelenting ulceration and necrosis of the nasal cavity and midline facial tissues. Histological features of the lymphoma include angiocentric and polymorphous lymphoreticular infiltrates, called polymorphic reticulosis. Surface antigens and the NK-cell marker, CD56, as well as pan-T antigen CD2, cytoplasmic CD3 (CD3ɛ), and CD45 are expressed in the lymphoma cells. The origin of the lymphoma is thought to be either NK-cell linkage without T-cell receptor (TCR) rearrangement or γδT-cell linkage with γδTCR rearrangement. Since the authors of this study first demonstrated the presence of Epstein Barr virus (EBV)-DNA and EBV oncogenic proteins in NNKTL, the lymphoma has been classified as one of the EBV-associated malignancies. The NNKTL cells produce interleukin (IL)-9, IL-10, and interferon-γ-inducible protein-10 (IP-10), possibly due to EBV-oncogenic proteins in the lymphoma cells, and such cytokines take an important part in the cell proliferation and invasion, acting in an autocrine manner. Clinically, the serum EBV-DNA copy number is useful as a specific tumor marker and a predictive prognostic factor. Even in early clinical stages, the lymphoma shows poor prognosis caused by the rapid progression of the lesion into distinct organs. Our newly designed arterial infusion chemotherapy, from the superficial temporal artery, in combination with radiotherapy, has shown a favorable outcome in patients with NNKTL. In this article, the clinical, pathological, and virological characteristics of the lymphoma are reviewed, along with a report of our investigations.

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Correspondence to Yasuaki Harabuchi.

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Harabuchi, Y., Takahara, M., Kishibe, K. et al. Nasal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma: clinical, histological, virological, and genetic features. Int J Clin Oncol 14, 181–190 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10147-009-0882-7

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