Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma in patients receiving TNF-α inhibitor therapy: Expanding the groups at risk

Deepak Parakkal, Humberto Sifuentes, Rumi Semer, Eli Daniel Ehrenpreis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL) is a rare, lethal disease generally seen in young male patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The study of biologic and immunomodulator naive patients in Crohn's disease (SONIC), advocates combining infliximab with an immunomodulator in moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease. Unfortunately, combined immunosuppression increases risk for HSTCL. We herein review all cases of HSTCL reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in patients receiving TNF-α inhibitors. METHODS: Individual reports from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System database for lymphomas from the biological agents-infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab, natalizumab, and etanercept were downloaded and analyzed with Microsoft Access. Full reports for all identified HSTCL cases were obtained from the FDA. RESULTS: Twenty-five cases of HSTCL were identified. Twenty-two (88%) patients had inflammatory bowel disease and three had rheumatoid arthritis. Four cases (16%) were in women and four patients were above 65 years of age. Twenty-four cases (96%) also received an immunomodulator (azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, or methotrexate). Two patients received adalimumab alone. CONCLUSION: HSTCL is no longer restricted to the previously identified risk group of young male patients, but can also occur in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, females and older adults receiving TNF-α inhibitors and immunomodulators. Improved disease outcomes using combination therapy should be tempered by the risk of developing HSTCL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1150-1156
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


  • TNF-α inhibitors
  • cancer
  • colitis
  • hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • lymphoma
  • methotrexate
  • older adults
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma in patients receiving TNF-α inhibitor therapy: Expanding the groups at risk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this