Nicolae A,Bouilly J,Lara D,Fataccioli V,Lemonnier F,Drieux F,Parrens M,Robe C,Poullot E,Bisig B,Bossard C,Letourneau A,Missiaglia E,Bonnet C,Szablewski V,Traverse-Glehen A,Delfau-Larue MH,de Leval L,Gaulard P
Nodal peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (PTCL, NOS) with cytotoxic phenotype is overall rare, with most reports coming from Asia. Given its elusive pathobiology, we undertook a clinicopathological and molecular study of 54 Western patients diagnosed with PTCL, NOS expressing cytotoxic molecules, within a lymph node. More commonly males (M/F-2,6/1) with median age of 60 years were affected. Besides lymphadenopathy, 87% of patients had ≥1 involved extranodal site. High-stage disease (III-IV), International Prognostic Index >2, B symptoms, LDH level, and cytopenia(s) were observed in 92, 63, 67, 78, and 66% of cases, respectively. Ten patients had a history of B-cell malignancies, one each of myeloid neoplasm, breast or prostate cancer, and 4 others had underlying immune disorders. Most patients (70%) died, mostly of disease, with a median overall survival of 12.7 months. Immunophenotypically, the neoplastic lymphocytes were T-cell receptor (TCR) αβ + (47%), TCR-silent (44%) or TCRγδ+ (10%), commonly CD8 + (45%) or CD4-CD8- (32%). All except one had an activated cytotoxic profile, and 95% were subclassified into PTCL-TBX21 subtype based on CXCR3, TBX21, and GATA3 expression pattern. Seven patients (13%) disclosed EBER + tumor cells. Targeted DNA deep-sequencing (33 cases) and multiplex ligation-dependent reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay (43 cases) identified frequent mutations in epigenetic modifiers (73%), including TET2 (61%) and DNMT3A (39%), recurrent alterations affecting the TCR (36%) and JAK/STAT (24%) signaling pathways and TP53 mutations (18%). Fusion transcripts involving VAV1 were identified in 6/43 patients (14%). Patients with nodal cytotoxic PTCL, NOS have an aggressive behavior and frequently present in a background of impaired immunity, although the association with Epstein-Barr virus is rare. The recurrent alterations in genes involved in DNA methylation together with genes related to cytokine or TCR signaling, suggest that co-operation of epigenetic modulation with cell-signaling pathways plays a critical role in the pathogeny of these lymphomas.