Emerging insights on the pathogenesis and treatment of extranodal NK/T cell lymphomas (ENKTL).

Haverkos BM, Coleman C, Gru AA, Pan Z, Brammer J, Rochford R, Mishra A, Oakes CC, Baiocchi RA, Freud AG, Porcu P
Discov Med 23 189-199 01/01/2017

Abstract

Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma (ENKTL) is a rare aggressive extranodal non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) universally associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). ENKTL most commonly occurs in non-elderly immune competent males in Asia and South America. A number of antecedent lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs) have been described in Asian and South American patients, but the majority of Caucasian ENKTL patients have no known preceding LPD or underlying immunodeficiency. Other than EBV, no environmental or extrinsic factor has been implicated in oncogenesis. The precise mechanisms by which EBV infects NK or T cells and the virus' role in the pathogenesis of ENKTL have not been fully deciphered. However, a number of recent discoveries including disturbances in cell signaling and mutations in tumor suppressor genes have been identified, which are providing insights into the pathogenesis of ENKTL. In this review, we highlight the molecular, viral, and genetic underpinnings of ENKTL and discuss potential therapeutic implications.

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