Angioimmunoblastic lymphoma (AITL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
What it is
There are many different types of NHL. Doctors can tell which type you have by looking at the lymphoma cells under the microscope. This is a type of peripheral T-cell lymphoma.
Angioimmunoblastic lymphoma is a high grade (aggressive) lymphoma that affects blood cells called T cells. It is also called angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL).
High grade lymphomas tend to grow more quickly than low grade lymphomas.
Who gets it
AITL is rare. People diagnosed with AITL tend to be older.
- a number of swollen lymph nodes
- a high temperature (fever)
- weight loss.
AITL can also cause symptoms such as skin rashes or inflammation of the joints. This is because the cancerous T cells produce abnormal proteins that the body reacts to (known as an autoimmune reaction).
Your doctor diagnoses AITL by taking a sample (biopsy) of an enlarged lymph node. A specialist doctor then looks at the cells under a microscope. You might also have some other tests such as blood tests.
Your usually have a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy (chemoimmunotherapy). The most common combination is R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, dexamethasone).
Or sometimes doctors treat this type of lymphoma with steroids alone.
Chemotherapy can shrink the lymphoma and may get rid of it completely for many people. But it is quite common for the lymphoma to come back after treatment (relapse). Some people may then have a very high dose of chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant.
Researchers are looking at other drugs to see if they could be used for this type of NHL in the future:
Coping with NHL
Advice and support is available to help you cope with NHL and its treatment.