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Nasal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma and its association with type “i”/XhoI loss strain Epstein–Barr virus in Chile
  1. M E Cabrera1,
  2. Y Eizuru2,
  3. T Itoh3,
  4. C Koriyama4,
  5. Y Tashiro5,
  6. S Ding4,
  7. S Rey6,
  8. S Akiba4,
  9. A Corvalan7
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Hematology Section, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de Chile, Hospital Salvador, Santiago, Chile
  2. 2Division of Oncogenic and Persistent Viruses, Center for Chronic Viral Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima, Japan
  3. 3Kaisei-en, Geriatric Heatlth Services Facility, Kagoshima, Japan
  4. 4Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Japan
  5. 5Department of Anatomia Pathologica, Imakiire General Hospital, Kagoshima, Japan
  6. 6Department of Anatomia Pathologica, Hospital Salvador, Santiago, Chile
  7. 7Department of Pathology, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M E Cabrera
 Hematology Section, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Hospital Salvador, Av Salvador 364, Santiago SCL 133202, Chile; mecabrera{at}


Background: Nasal T/natural killer (NK)-cell lymphoma is an aggressive type of non-Hodking’s lymphoma associated with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) and striking geographical variations worldwide.

Aim: To characterise nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma associated with genotypes of EBV in Chile, a Latin American country, where multiple strains of EBV, including two new recombinant strains, in healthy individuals were recently found.

Methods: Cases with diagnosis of primary nasal lymphoma were selected for histological and immunohistochemical analysis (CD3, CD3e, CD4, CD8, CD79a, CD56, CD57 and TIA-1) and in-situ hybridisation, serology and genotyping analysis for EBV.

Results: Out of 22 cases, 9 (41%) cases fulfilled the World Health Organization criteria for nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma; of these 7 (78%) cases were positive for EBV. Genotyping analysis revealed 6 cases of type 1 EBV and wildtype F at the BamHI-F region, 4 cases type “i” EBV at the BamHI-W1/I1 region; XhoI wild type was found in 2 and XhoI loss in 4 cases, respectively. Cosegregation analysis of the BamHI-W1/I1 region and XhoI restriction site showed the new recombinant strain type “i”/XhoI loss in 3 cases and type “i”/XhoI wild-type strain in 1 case. Most patients were treated with combined anthracycline-containing regimens. Half of the cases attained complete remission.

Conclusion: Although nasal NK/T-cell lymphomas from Chile share similar clinicopathological features, high association with EBV and unfavourable prognosis with those described elsewhere, genotype analysis shows that the new recombinant type “i”/XhoI loss strain might contribute to explain the intermediate incidence of nasal NK/T-cell lymphomas in Latin America.

  • CH, chemotherapy
  • EBER-1, Epstein–Barr virus-encoded small RNA type-1
  • EBV, Epstein–Barr virus
  • HTLV-1, human T-lymphotropic leukaemia virus type-1
  • NK, natural killer
  • RT, radiotherapy
  • WHO, World Health Organization

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  • Published Online First 14 June 2006

  • Competing interests: None declared.