Author(s): Yasunaga J, Matsuoka M
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) is a causative virus of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis, and HTLV-I-associated uveitis. ATL is a neoplastic disease of CD4-positive T lymphocytes that is characterized by pleomorphic tumor cells with hypersegmented nuclei, termed "flower cells." The mechanisms of leukemogenesis have not been fully clarified. METHODS: The authors reviewed the virological, clinical, and immunological features of HTLV-I and ATL and summarized recent findings on the oncogenic mechanisms of ATL and therapeutic advances. RESULTS: Multiple factors, such as viral genes, genetic and epigenetic alterations, and the host immune system, may be implicated in the leukemogenesis of ATL. Among them, viral genes, tax, and HBZ have been thought to play important roles. The prognosis of aggressive-type ATL remains poor, regardless of intensive chemotherapy. Effectiveness of allogeneic stem cell transplantation for ATL has been recently reported. CONCLUSIONS: Although the precise mechanism of leukemogenesis of ATL remains unclear, recent progress provides important clues in oncogenesis by HTLV-I. Future research should focus on the composition of novel therapeutic strategies, including prevention, based on the evidence in the leukemogenic mechanisms.
This article was published in Cancer Control
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation