Histological and immunophenotypic profile of nasal NK/T cell lymphomas from Peru: High prevalence of p53 overexpression

Leticia Quintanilla-Martinez, Janet L. Franklin, Ivonne Guerrero, Laszlo Krenacs, K. N. Naresh, Clementina Rama-Rao, Kishor Bhatia, Mark Raffeld, Ian T. Magrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

104 Citations (Scopus)


Nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma is a unique form of lymphoma highly associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). These lymphomas are rare in Western populations and much more prevalent in some Asian and Latin American countries. Although there are several sizable studies from Asian countries, the same is not true from South America. The aim of this study was to analyze a series of 32 cases of nasal T-cell lymphoma from Peru and to further extend the characterization of this disease. Immunohistochemistry was performed on paraffin sections using the following antibodies: CD20 (L26), CD45RO, CD3, Ki67, CD57, CD56, TIA-1, bcl-2, and p53. The presence of EBV was investigated with immunohistochemical analysis for latent membrane protein (LMP)-1 and in situ hybridization using an antisense riboprobe to EBER 1. The 32 patients included 18 men and 14 women (M:F ratio, 1.2:1), with a median age of 43 years (11 to 72). Three categories were identified: (1) Nasal NK/T cell lymphomas (28 cases): The morphology ranged from small or medium-sized cells to large transformed cells. Necrosis was present in 86% of the cases, and angioinvasion was seen in 36% of the cases. All cases were positive for GD45RO, GD3, and for TIA-1. GD56 was positive in 21 of 27 cases (78%), and GD57 was negative in all cases. EBER 1 positivity was identified in most of the tumor cells in 27 of 28 cases (96%), including the six cases in which CD56 was negative. Overexpression of p55 was detected in 24 cases (86%). (2) Blastic NK cell lymphoma (1 case): The neoplastic cells resembled those of lymphoblastic lymphoma. CD56 and CD45RO were positive; TIA-1, TdT, and EBER- 1 were negative. (3) Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) unspecified (3 cases): CD56, TIA-1, and EBER-1 were negative. Nasal lymphomas from Peru with a T cell phenotype are predominantly EBV-associated NK/T cell lymphomas, similar to those described in Asian countries. The expression of CD56, TIA-1, and EBER-1, in combination, are very useful markers for the diagnosis of nasal NK/T cell lymphoma in paraffin-embedded tissue. The differential diagnosis of T-cell lymphomas in the nasal region should include rare cases of PTCL unspecified and the blastic variant of NK cell lymphoma. P53 is overexpressed in 86% of the cases. The significance of this finding with regard to clinical behavior and prognosis remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-855
Number of pages7
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1999



  • CD56
  • EBV
  • NK/T cell
  • Nasal lymphomas
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Quintanilla-Martinez, L., Franklin, J. L., Guerrero, I., Krenacs, L., Naresh, K. N., Rama-Rao, C., Bhatia, K., Raffeld, M., & Magrath, I. T. (1999). Histological and immunophenotypic profile of nasal NK/T cell lymphomas from Peru: High prevalence of p53 overexpression. Human pathology, 30(7), 849-855. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0046-8177(99)90147-8