Infant anaplastic lymphoma: Case report and review of the literature

Ayelet Ben Barak, Ronit Elhasid, Ofer Ben Itzhak, Yehudit Ben Arieh, Irena Zaidman, Motti Haimi, Gad Bar-Joseph, Myriam Weyl Ben Arush

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a well-known entity, but there are no data on prognosis according to the age of the patient, especially in infants. A 2-month-old girl was admitted with a 2-week history of coughing, fever, and lymphadenopathy. Physical examination revealed mild respiratory distress, an erythematous macular rash on her trunk, massive cervical lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, and very mild ascites. Chest radiograph showed bilateral pulmonary infiltrates, pleural effusion, and a mediastinal mass. CBC count showed WBC: 172,000/μL (PMN 40%, lymphocytes 47%, monocytes 3%); hemoglobin concentration: 8.7 g/dL; platelets: 390,000/μL. Cervical lymph node biopsy revealed anaplastic lymphoma with positive staining to ALK 1 and TIA 1. Immunophenotypic analysis of peripheral and bone marrow lymphoid cells showed an aberrant T-cell immunophenotype, including expression of CD3, CD45R0+, CD43+, and CD30+. Cytogenetic analysis performed on blood and bone marrow samples demontrated the translocation t(2;5) (p23;q35), and trisomy 47. After leucophoresis, the child received chemotherapy according to the ALCL-99-EICNHL protocol, and was started on corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide, which resulted in marked improvement. After the second course, WBC decreased to 6000/μL without tumor lysis syndrome, but the child developed bacterial and fungal disseminated infections and died of septic shock with multiorgan failure. This report is of a rare case of infant anaplastic lymphoma and excellent response to treatment. Unfortunately, she did succomb to overwhelming infection. More reports of similar cases may determine the cause and prognosis of such children, helping to tailor therapy according to the age of the child and other prognostic factors, especially bone marrow involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Hematology and Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • Chemotheraphy
  • Congenital
  • Infant
  • Leukemic involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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