Molecular genetics of peripheral T-cell lymphomas

Pier Paolo Piccaluga, Valentina Tabanelli, Stefano A. Pileri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCL) are rare neoplasms that in most instances respond poorly to conventional chemotherapies. Four varieties-PTCL not otherwise specified (NOS), angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), ALK+ anaplastic T-cell lymphoma (ALCL), and ALK- ALCL-account for about 60 % of them. Their classification is difficult because of the wide spectrum of morphologic features and the lack of robust immunohistochemical markers. Thus, high-throughput technologies can importantly contribute to their better understanding. In particular, gene expression profiling has cleared the borders among PTCL/NOS, ALK- ALCL and AITL. In fact, gene signatures have been developed even from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples that definitely distinguish one tumor from the other(s). This has important practical implications: for instance on routine diagnostics PTCL/NOS expressing CD30 can be easily confused with ALK- ALCL, but has a much worse prognosis. Therefore, the clear-cut distinction between the two conditions is pivotal to understand the results of ongoing trials with Brentuximab Vedotin, targeting the CD30 molecule. Besides improving the diagnosis, molecular studies have provided the rationale for the usage of novel drugs in the setting of PTCLs, such as ALK inhibitors in ALK+ ALCL, anti-angiogenetic drugs in AITL, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors in PTCL/NOS and ALK+ and ALK- ALCLs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Gene expression profiling
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Peripheral T-cell lymphomas
  • Tyrosine kinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular genetics of peripheral T-cell lymphomas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this