Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL)
What is anaplastic large cell lymphoma?
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It typically appears in the lymph nodes (systemic) or skin (cutaneous), but can affect any organ in the body. It is a very rare form of cancer, comprising about 1% of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
What are the symptoms of anaplastic large cell lymphoma?
Cutaneous ALCL symptoms include:
- Red skin lesions
- Lesions that break open and will not heal
Systemic ALCL symptoms include:
- Night sweats
- A loss of appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
What causes anaplastic large cell lymphoma?
The cause of this cancer is unknown; medical professionals are aware that malignant cells grow and multiply out of control.
How is anaplastic large cell lymphoma diagnosed?
A biopsy of the skin or tumor is necessary to obtain a diagnosis. Other tests may be performed, including PET scans, CT scans, MRIs, and bone marrow biopsies.
What are the treatments for anaplastic large cell lymphoma?
Chemotherapy is the main component of treatment for ALCL. For those with aggressive or recurring cancer, a stem cell transplant may be the best option. Adcetris has also been approved by the FDA for the systemic version of this cancer.