Molecular genetics

Molecular analyses reveal a germline configuration of the TCR genes in most cases. A restricted killer cell immunoglobu-lin-like receptor repertoire has been found by the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique, indicating the presence of a monoclonal or possibly oligoclonal NK-cell proliferation [53]. Rare cases of extra-nodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, show a true T-cell phenotype with a monoclonal TCR gene rearrangement.

Mutations of the Fas gene have been described in nasaltype extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma [54]. Oncogene copy number gains and other chromosomal alterations have also been detected in a few cases [55].

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