Adult T-cell lymphoma/leukaemia (ATLL) is a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma associated with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). HTLV-1 is a retroviral infection that is spread through contact with infected blood or body fluids. It is most common in certain parts of the world, including Japan, the Caribbean, and South America, but it can also be seen in other parts of the world, including the United States.
ATLL is diagnosed by a combination of physical exam, blood tests, imaging tests, and a biopsy of the affected tissue. The physical exam may reveal swelling in the lymph nodes, enlarged spleen, or other signs of infection. Blood tests may show anemia or low white blood cell count. Imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may show an enlarged lymph node or other abnormal growths in the body. A biopsy is typically performed to confirm the diagnosis and to determine the type of ATLL.
Differential diagnosis for ATLL includes other types of lymphoma or leukemia, as well as infections such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, or other viral infections.
ATLL is a serious condition and requires aggressive treatment. Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplantation, and/or targeted therapy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the affected tissue.
The prognosis for ATLL depends on several factors, including the type of ATLL, the stage of the disease, and the patient’s response to treatment. In general, the prognosis is poor and the average survival rate is less than one year. However, some patients may achieve long-term remission with aggressive treatment.