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Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-negative T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma with loss of the T-cell lineage-specific marker CD3 at relapse: a rare entity with an aggressive outcome


Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-negative T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma is a variant of T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/T-cell lymphoblastic leukaemia. TdT is a marker of immaturity expressed in 90%–95% cases of lymphoblastic lymphoma and useful in differentiating it from other mature lymphomas/leukaemias. It has been associated with poorer response to chemotherapy and a more aggressive outcome. Here we present a case of TdT-negative T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma in a 28-year-old man who presented with superior vena cava syndrome. The patient was treated with hyper-cyclophosphamide,vincristine, Adriamycin, dexamethasone (CVAD), however unfortunately suffered a relapse 1 year later. A unique feature of our case was that on relapse, the patient lost expression of the T-cell lineage-specific marker CD3, which has previously not been reported in association with TdT-negative T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. The patient failed to respond to chemotherapy on his relapse and died.

  • cancer intervention
  • haematology (incl blood transfusion)
  • oncology

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