Treatment and prognosis of mature T-cell and NK-cell lymphoma: an analysis of patients with T-cell lymphoma treated in studies of the German High-Grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Study Group

Norbert Schmitz, Lorenz Trümper, Marita Ziepert, Maike Nickelsen, Anthony D. Ho, Bernd Metzner, Norma Peter, Markus Loeffler, Andreas Rosenwald and Michael Pfreundschuh


To evaluate outcome and prognosis of patients with T-cell lymphoma we analyzed 343 patients treated within trials of the German High-Grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Study Group (DSHNHL). Two hundred eighty-nine patients belonged to 1 of the 4 major T-cell lymphoma subtypes: anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), anaplastic large cell lymphoma kinase (ALK)–positive (n = 78); ALCL, ALK-negative (n = 113); peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified (PTCLU; n = 70); and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL; n = 28). Treatment consisted of 6-8 courses of CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone/prednisolone) or etoposide plus (CHOEP). Three-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival were 75.8% and 89.8% (ALK-positive ALCL), 50.0% and 67.5% (AITL), 45.7% and 62.1% (ALK-negative ALCL), and 41.1% and 53.9% (PTCLU), respectively. The International Prognostic Index (IPI) was effective in defining risk groups with significantly different outcomes. For patients, ≤ 60 years with lactate dehydrogenase ≤ upper normal value (UNV), etoposide improved improved 3-year EFS: 75.4% versus 51.0%, P = .003. In patients > 60 years 6 courses of CHOP administered every 3 weeks remains the standard therapy. Patients with ALK-negative ALCL, PTCLU, or AITL presenting with IPI > 1 have a poor prognosis and should be considered candidates for novel treatment strategies.

  • Submitted February 22, 2010.
  • Accepted June 23, 2010.
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