Clinical heterogeneity of extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type: A national survey of the Korean Cancer Study Group

T. M. Kim, S. Y. Lee, Y. K. Jeon, B. Y. Ryoo, G. J. Cho, Y. S. Hong, H. J. Kim, S. Y. Kim, C. S. Kim, S. Kim, J. S. Kim, S. K. Sohn, H. H. Song, J. L. Lee, Y. K. Kang, C. Y. Yim, W. S. Lee, Y. J. Yuh, C. W. Kim, D. S. Heo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This national survey was undertaken to propose the classification of extranodal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma (NTCL) subtypes and to clarify a clinical heterogeneity. Patients and methods:Two hundred and eighty patients newly diagnosed as NTCL were enrolled from 22 Korean medical centers. Two subsets were compared: one involving the upper aerodigestive tract (UAT) and another involving the non-upper aerodigestive tract (NUAT) region, which comprises the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and liver or soft tissues. Clinical prognostic factors, survival outcomes, and independent predictors for survival were compared between each subset. Results: NUAT-NTCL (59 patients) had significantly higher proportions of disseminated disease, aggressive biologic features, and unfavorable host reactions compared with UAT-NTCL (221 patients). NUAT-NTCL had shortened 5-year overall survival (OS) (22% versus 41%, P = 0.001). Ann Arbor staging, the International Prognostic Index, and the NTCL prognostic index failed to predict the OS of NUAT-NTCL, but did predict the OS in UAT-NTCL. Independent predictors for OS by multivariate analyses differed between each subset. In the NUAT subset, extranodal sites and regional nodes predicted the OS, while Ann Arbor staging, age, performance status, and lactate dehydrogenase level predicted the OS in the UAT subset. Conclusion: NUAT-NTCL may represent a distinctive disease entity in terms of clinical factors, independent predictors, and survival outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1484
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Korean Cancer Association; the Korea Health 21 R&D Project (A050564); Innovative Research Institute for Cell Therapy (A0622660), Republic of Korea.


  • Clinical heterogeneity
  • NK/T-cell lymphoma
  • Prognostic factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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