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Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Jamaica and its Relation to Adult T-Cell Leukemia-Lymphoma

WILLIAM N. GIBBS, M.D.; WYCLIFFE S. LOFTERS, M.B.; MARIE CAMPBELL, M.D.; BARRIE HANCHARD, M.B.; LOIS LaGRENADE, M.B.; BEVERLEY CRANSTON, B.Sc; JAN HENDRIKS, M.Sc; ELAINE S. JAFFE, M.D.; CARL SAXINGER, Ph.D.; MARJORIE ROBERT-GUROFF, Ph.D.; ROBERT C. GALLO, M.D.; JEFFREY CLARK, M.D.; and WILLIAM A. BLATTNER, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part by grant N01-CP-31006 from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

▸ Requests for reprints should be addressed to: William N. Gibbs, M.D.; World Health Organization, Room L423; 1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland.


Kingston, Jamaica; and Bethesda, Maryland


© 1987 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(3):361-368. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-106-3-361
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Of 95 patients consecutively diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 52 (55%) had antibodies to human T-cell leukemia-lymphoma virus, type I. Antibody positivity was strongly associated with skin involvement, leukemia, and hypercalcemia (p < 0.02). Two patients had systemic opportunistic infections. Neither meningeal nor lung infiltration was detected, and lymph node infiltration was diffuse in all patients. Of 36 patients who received immunophenotypic classifications, 30 had diseases that affected the T-cell system, and the cells of all tested patients with these diseases showed the helper/inducer (T4) phenotype. Twenty-seven of these thirty-six patients were found to have adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma, and of the 27, 24 had antibodies to HTLV-I. The median duration of survival in patients with adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma was 17 weeks, but a subgroup of 9 patients had indolent courses and a median survival of 81 weeks, which suggests that the disease has differing expression with courses that range from smoldering and indolent to acute and rapidly fatal. Hypercalcemia was the most important prognostic determinant of adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma.

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