If you’ve recently been diagnosed with peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL), you probably have many questions and concerns.

This fact sheet is intended to help you learn about PTCL, find answers to your questions, and find sources of support.

What is PTCL?

PTCL is a rare, and often aggressive (fast-growing) cancer that develops from white blood cells called T-lymphocytes or T-cells. T-cells are an important part of the immune system which help your body fight infection. In cases when these cells start to grow too quickly and resist dying, they can accumulate in the body. This is what causes cancer.

Terms You Should Know

Hematologist-oncologist A doctor who specializes in treating blood cancers.

Chemotherapy Cancer treatment with one or more drugs. Many types of chemotherapy may be used to treat PTCL. Your hematologist-oncologist may treat your PTCL with chemotherapy treatments such as cyclophosphamide, Oncovin (vincrinstine) and Adriamycin (doxorubicin), and even steroids. A new drug, Folotyn (pralatrexate), was recently approved to treat PTCL after the cancer has come back or stopped responding to other treatments.

Prognosis A prediction about the probable outcome based on stage of disease and treatment options.

Clinical trial A study testing a new cancer treatment. Many new therapies are now showing great promise in treating PTCL, many of which are being studied in clinical trials. You may want to ask your doctor about participating in a clinical trial.

Stem cell transplant A procedure that places (or transplants) healthy blood-forming cells (called stem cells) into your body after they have been collected, either from yourself or someone else. Because these stem cells live and divide in your bone marrow, the procedure is often called a bone marrow transplant.

There are many kinds of stem cell transplants (autologous, allogeneic, umbilical cord) which your doctors can explain in detail. Stem cell transplantation is an effective treatment option for some patients with PTCL.

This article originally appeared on ONA