International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-015-1841-x Pages: 702-708

CD20-positive primary gastric T-cell lymphoma poorly responding to initial treatment with rituximab plus CHOP, and a literature review

1. Asahikawa City Hospital, Department of Hematology

2. Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Hematology

3. Kurume University, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine

Correspondence to:
Yasutaka Kakinoki
Tel: 81-166-24-3181



There have been rare reported cases of peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS) that co-expressed CD20. A 44-year-old Japanese male was initially misdiagnosed as CD20-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with a background of reactive CD3-positive T-cells in the stomach. After four cycles of R-CHOP [rituximab plus cyclophosphamide (CY), doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone (PSL)], total gastrectomy with regional lymph node dissection was performed due to the poor response to R-CHOP. A final diagnosis of CD20-positive primary gastric PTCL-NOS was made based on the immunohistochemical, flow cytometric, and molecular genetic findings. In the present case, CD20 immunostaining for T-cell lymphoma cells in tumor tissue varied; in a large part, these were strong to weak-positive, and in some parts, absent. We additionally reviewed the literature focusing on CD20-positive PTCL-NOS treated with rituximab. The administration of rituximab has been performed as an initial treatment in 11 cases, including the case reported here. The response was good in cases with high expression of CD20, while it was poor in cases with variable intensity in CD20 staining, which is consistent with our experience in the present case. The efficacy of rituximab may be associated with intensity of CD20 expression in T cells and its homogeneity in the tumor tissue.

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