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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Successful Chemo-Radiotherapy for Primary Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma of the Lung: A Case Report and Literature Review

Challenging differential diagnosis, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Unexpected drug reaction , Rare disease

Qian Zhao, Yongmei Liu, Huijiao Chen, Yan Zhang, Zedong Du, Jin Wang, Yongsheng Wang

China (mainland) Department of Thoracic Oncology, Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China (mainland)

Am J Case Rep 2016; 17:70-75

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.896096

Available online:

Published: 2016-02-08


BACKGROUND: Primary anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) of the lung is an extremely rare disease. This disease is a great challenge for pneumologists due to its nonspecific clinical presentations and radiological findings. Appropriate invasive biopsy and immunohistochemistry are important for diagnosis. There is currently no standard treatment.
CASE REPORT: We report a very rare case of primary pulmonary ALCL in a 39-year-old man. The clinical features, imaging, pathological findings, treatment outcomes, and prognosis, are described. Successful treatment outcomes were achieved after 6 cycles of CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) chemotherapy followed by involved field radiotherapy of 54Gy/27f. The patient was disease-free after follow-up for 65 months.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study found that chemotherapy (such as CHOP) is recognized as the first-line regimen for primary ALCL of the lung. For patients with dyspnea caused by a mass blocking the main bronchus, chemo-radiotherapy may be a reasonable therapeutic option. The prognosis is better for patients with positive ALK staining. CD56(+), age older than 60 years, Ann Arbor stage III or IV, survivin expression, PS>2, and high serum LDH level and IPI scores are the poor prognostic factors of ALCL.

Keywords: Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols - therapeutic use, Adult, chemoradiotherapy, Cyclophosphamide - therapeutic use, Doxorubicin - therapeutic use, Lung Neoplasms - therapy, Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic - therapy, Prednisone - therapeutic use, Radiotherapy Dosage, Vincristine - therapeutic use