Thymic lymphoblastic lymphoma of committed natural killer cell precursor origin: A case report

Ryo Ichinohasama, Kazuyasu Endoh, Ken Ichi Ishizawa, Mitsutaka Okuda, Jun Ichi Kameoka, Kuniaki Meguro, Jerome Myers, Marshall E. Kadin, Shigeo Mori, Takashi Sawai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND. Recently, it was demonstrated that the human fetal thymocyte contains a bipotential progenitor capable of both T lymphocyte and natural killer (NK) cell differentiation. However, prior to this report a malignant neoplasm arising from these cells had not been documented. METHODS. A Japanese female age 38 years was examined by morphology of light and electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, 3-color flow cytometry, cytotoxic assay, and Southern blotting. RESULTS. The patient presented with a mediastinal mass and pleural effusion. Leukemic progression was identified following chemotherapy and complete clinical remission. Immunophenotypic of lymphoma revealed CD45++, c-kit(dim-), terminal deoxyneucleotidyl transferase (TdT)(-<<+), CD38++, CD34(+<<++), CD33(+<-), CD13(dim+-+), HLA-DR+, CD7+, cytoplasmic CD3 (cCD3)+, surface CD3 (sCD3)-, CD2(dim+), CD56+, CD16-, CD11b+, CD57-, CD1a-, CD5-, TCRαβ-, TCRγδ-, CD4-, CD8-, CD28-, CD10-, CD19-, CD20-, CD22-, surface immunoglobulins-, and CD14-. Functional activity of the lymphoma cells was extremely low. DNA analysis revealed no gene rearrangement in TCR β, γ, and δ or immunoglobulin heavy and light chain genes. CONCLUSIONS. Lymphoma cells of this case were derived from a distinct subtype of lymphocyte that originate from a thymic precursor committed to NK cell differentiation. This category is different from those of thymic T or precursor B cell pheno-/genotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2592-2603
Number of pages12
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Jun 15
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-color flow cytometry
  • immunohistochemistry
  • natural killer activity
  • natural killer cell precursor
  • thymic lymphoblastic lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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