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Enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma

Enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL), also enteropathy-type T-cell lymphoma (ETTL), is a type of T-cell lymphoma that affects the small intestine. It is the most common primary gastrointestinal T-cell lymphoma, arising from the T cells that are found between the cells that line the small intestinal (brush border cells or small intestinal epithelial cells).[1] These cancerous T-cells are a possible consequence of refractory cases of coeliac disease or in chronic, untreated cases in genetically susceptible individuals.

Enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma
Enteropathy-associated T cell lymphoma - low mag.jpg
Micrograph of enteropathy-associated T cell lymphoma (upper right of image). H&E stain.
SpecialtyOncology Edit this on Wikidata



EATL can be classified as an extranodal peripheral T cell lymphoma, a category it shares with hepatosplenic T cell lymphoma and panniculitic T cell lymphoma. It can be further classified in type I and II EATL.[2]


Enteropathy associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL) is environmentally induced as a result of the consumption of Triticeae glutens (e.g. wheat gluten). In gluten-sensitive individuals with EATL, 68% are homozygotes of the DQB1*02 subtype at the HLA-DQB1 locus.[3] (See Coeliac Disease, HLA-DQ, HLA DR3-DQ2) A DQ isoform that appears to be responsible for EATL in the overwhelming number of cases is highly effective at presenting a proteolytically protected region of α2-gliadin to T-cells, constant over-stimulation of T-cell eventually results in neoplastic growth.[4] EATL typically appears after the 4th decade of life, within 3 years of coeliac disease diagnosis or in undiagnosed coeliacs.[5][6] In treated coeliacs, EATL may be preceded by refractory coeliac disease 1(RCD1) or, prominently, refractory celiac disease 2 (RCD2), in which EATL is a frequent outcome.[7] Refractory coeliac disease is no longer favorably responsive to wheat-gluten abstinence. Beyond the RCD1 stage, many drugs are not effective, and undetected coeliac disease leading to de novo EATL generally has a poor outcome.

The genetic association with celiac disease and HLA loci defines type I EATL. Type II doesn´t show these associations and frequently presents with bulky disease.

Early recognition of coeliac disease, particularly with a focus on DQ2 homozygotes and in affected family members, is the only effective prevention, though bone marrow transplant was suggested as a treatment during early RCD2.[8]


Bone marrow involvement is rare in this disease.[citation needed]


In certain eligible patients, a conditioning regimen of high-dose chemotherapy followed by an autologous stem cell transplant may be used to extend a period of first complete remission.[9] Likewise, a recent study suggests that high dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation results in favorable outcomes for elderly patients with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.[10]


According to the Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma Project, median overall survival is ten months, while median failure-free survival is only six months . The peripheral index for T-cell lymphoma is useful in defining prognosis for enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma. Among the most influential prognostic factors is bulky disease, defined by a tumor mass greater than 5 cm.[2]

Autologous stem cell transplantation is feasible for selected patients with enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma and can yield durable disease control in a significant proportion of these patients. One study found a trend for better survival in patients transplanted in first complete or partial remission at four years (66% vs. 36%; P = .062).[9]


EATL is most frequent in Europe, where it represents 9.4% of all peripheral T cell lymphomas. Association with celiac disease is consistently demonstrated in only 30% of patients. The global incidence of this lymphoma is rare, being about 0.5 to 1 per million.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Isaacson PG (October 1994). "Gastrointestinal lymphoma". Hum. Pathol. 25 (10): 1020–9. doi:10.1016/0046-8177(94)90060-4. PMID 7927306.
  2. ^ a b c Delabie J, et al. (July 2011). "Enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma: clinical and histological findings from the International Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma Project". Blood. 118 (148): 148–55. doi:10.1182/blood-2011-02-335216. PMID 21566094.
  3. ^ Al-Toma A, Verbeek WH, Hadithi M, von Blomberg BM, Mulder CJ (2007). "Survival in Refractory Coeliac Disease and Enteropathy associated T cell Lymphoma: Retrospective evaluation of single centre experience". Gut. 56 (10): 1373–8. doi:10.1136/gut.2006.114512. PMC 2000250. PMID 17470479.
  4. ^ Jores RD, Frau F, Cucca F, et al. (2007). "HLA-DQB1*0201 homozygosis predisposes to severe intestinal damage in celiac disease". Scand. J. Gastroenterol. 42 (1): 48–53. doi:10.1080/00365520600789859. PMID 17190762.
  5. ^ Al-Toma A, Goerres MS, Meijer JW, et al. (2006). "Cladribine therapy in refractory celiac disease with aberrant T cells". Clin. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 4 (11): 1322–7, quiz 1300. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2006.07.007. PMID 16979946.
  6. ^ Al-Toma A, Goerres MS, Meijer JW, Peña AS, Crusius JB, Mulder CJ (2006). "Human leukocyte antigen-DQ2 homozygosity and the development of refractory celiac disease and enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma". Clin. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 4 (3): 315–9. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2005.12.011. PMID 16527694.
  7. ^ Al-Toma A, Verbeek WH, Mulder CJ (2007). "Update on the management of refractory coeliac disease". Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases. 16 (1): 57–63. PMID 17410290.
  8. ^ Meijer JW, Mulder CJ, Goerres MG, Boot H, Schweizer JJ (2004). "Coeliac disease and (extra)intestinal T-cell lymphomas: definition, diagnosis and treatment". Scand. J. Gastroenterol. Suppl. 39 (241): 78–84. doi:10.1080/00855920410014605. PMID 15696854.
  9. ^ a b Jantunen, E; Boumendil, A; Finel, H; Luan, J. J.; Johnson, P; Rambaldi, A; Haynes, A; Duchosal, M. A.; Bethge, W; Biron, P; Carlson, K; Craddock, C; Rudin, C; Finke, J; Salles, G; Kroschinsky, F; Sureda, A; Dreger, P; Lymphoma Working Party of the EBMT (2013). "Autologous stem cell transplantation for enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma: A retrospective study by the EBMT". Blood. 121 (13): 2529–32. doi:10.1182/blood-2012-11-466839. PMID 23361910.
  10. ^

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