It is best to read this information with our general information about non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). If you have any more questions, you can ask your doctor or nurse at the hospital where you are having treatment.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare type of fast-growing NHL. It develops when T-cells (also called T-lymphocytes) become abnormal. T-cells are white blood cells that fight infection.
The abnormal T-cells (lymphoma cells) usually build up in lymph nodes, but they can affect other parts of the body.
People with ALCL are divided into two groups. If the lymphoma cells have a protein called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), the lymphoma is described as ALK-positive. If the protein is not there, the lymphoma is described as ALK-negative. The treatment of the two sub-types of ALCL may be different. Your doctor or specialist nurse will explain more about this.
ALCL can affect all ages, but it is most common in children and young adults. We have more information for teenagers and young adults with cancer. We also have information about children’s cancers. For more information about lymphoma in children, contact the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group.