Author(s): Kohrt H, Advani R
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Abstract Natural killer/T-cell (NK/T) lymphomas represent a group of rare tumors of NK and NK-T cells. The World Health Organization classifies NK-cell tumors into three types, extranodal NK/T-cell lymphomas (ENKL, nasal and non-nasal), NK-cell leukemias, and a blastic variant (CD4-positive, CD56-positive hematodermic neoplasms). We focus our review to the current concepts in biology and treatment of ENKL. Though considerable advances have been made in our understanding of NK-cell biology, malignant transformation including the role of Epstein-Barr virus, and prognosis, the rare nature of ENKL and its heterogeneity limit the ability to standardize therapy. Radiotherapy is fundamental to treatment of early-stage disease with a role for chemoradiotherapy among high-risk patients. The clinical course of advanced disease is highly aggressive with frequent chemotherapy resistance and a poor prognosis. Therapeutic approaches to advanced-stage or relapsed and refractory disease, including the appropriate sequence of chemotherapy, combined modality therapy, and stem cell transplantation is not well-established. International and multicenter clinical trials are needed for this rare and aggressive disease.
This article was published in Leuk Lymphoma
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion