Oncology specialist Dr. Eugenio Galindo provides a closer look at adult T-cell leukemia and lymphoma.
Adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma is a rare but often aggressive form of cancer which can be found in the blood, lymph nodes, skin, and multiple other areas of the body. A renowned cancer specialist from South Texas, oncologist Dr. Eugenio Galindo provides a closer look at the disease.
“When found in the blood, adult T-cell cancer is known as leukemia,” reveals Dr. Eugenio Galindo, “and, when found in the lymph nodes, it’s known as lymphoma.”
Adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma has been linked to human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1, yet fewer than five percent of those diagnosed with the virus will go on to develop T-cell cancer, according to Dr. Eugenio Galindo. “Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 is most prevalent,” he adds, “in the Caribbean, parts of Japan, and certain areas of South and Central America, as well as Africa.”
Four subtypes of adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma have been identified. “These,” says Dr. Eugenio Galindo, “extend to acute, lymphomatous, chronic, and smoldering.”
Acute, or aggressive, adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma often develops rapidly, according to the oncology specialist, with symptoms including fatigue, a skin rash, and enlarged lymph nodes in the underarms, neck, or groin. “Lymphomatous adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma, meanwhile,” he continues, “is found chiefly in the lymph nodes, and may present as high white blood cell counts.”
Slower-growing, so-called chronic and smoldering adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma cases can result in similar complaints, although smoldering cases, in particular, are often associated with only very mild symptoms.
According to Dr. Eugenio Galindo, depending on the subtype or suspected subtype, diagnosis may require the removal of a small sample of tumor tissue. “Known as a biopsy, a small sample of abnormal skin tissue may also be taken instead,” explains the expert. Such samples, he says, will then be examined on a cellular level under a powerful microscope.
Treatment for adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma is often subtype-dependant. A combination of chemotherapy treatments-such as those developed for aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas or acute lymphoblastic leukemia-will often be employed in an attempt to fight the disease.
“Prognosis is better for those with a diagnosis of chronic or smoldering adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma,” explains Dr. Galindo. In cases of acute or lymphomatous adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma, however, sadly prognosis often remains poor owing to intrinsic chemoresistance and complications caused by hypercalcemia and profound immune deficiency, according to the oncology specialist.
Dr. Eugenio Galindo has been an oncologist serving the Rio Grande Valley area of South Texas for almost 30 years. “Almost three decades on, I remain wholly committed,” he adds, wrapping up, “to bringing the very latest in cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and care to the southernmost tip of the state.”