Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma: Everything You Need to Know

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is made up of either malignant T-cells (type of cells in the immune system), or ‘Null-lymphocytes’ (lack both B or T-cell markers).

It is described in detail in the “Classification of Tumors of the Hematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues” edited by experts of the World Health Organisation. The term anaplastic large cell lymphoma encompasses at least 4 different clinical entities, all sharing the same name, and histologically have also in common the presence of large pleomorphic cells that express CD30 and T-cell markers. Two types of ALCL present as systemic disease and are considered as aggressive lymphomas, while two types present as localized disease and may progress locally. Its name derives from anaplasia and large-cell lymphoma.

It is accounting for about one in 50 of all cases. It can occur at any time between childhood and old age, but is most common in children and young adults. It is about twice as common in men as in women.

Dr. Sonali Smith of the University of Chicago discusses anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). LRF Ambassador and ALCL survivor, Anne Granlund shares her story from diagnosis to remission. To learn more about ALCL, visit the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s (LRF) disease-specific website