Sima Rozati, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, gives an overview of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

CTCL belongs to the non-Hodgkin lymphoma family as a rare group of malignancies. CTCL involves malignant T-cells migrating to, and collecting in, cutaneous tissue. This makes diagnosis challenging as the initial signs are skin-related and, therefore, overlap with many other dermatologic disorders. Additionally, CTCL variants present overlapping symptomatology, making it difficult to diagnose between CTCL subtypes. Hence, histopathologic features must be correlated with the clinical presentation to confirm diagnosis.

As Dr. Rozati explains, there are many subtypes of CTCL but the most common one is mycosis fungoides which primarily involves the skin but can affect the blood, lymph nodes, and (rarely) visceral organs. Sézary syndrome is another subtype which is generally more aggressive than mycosis fungoides. However, Dr. Rozati notes that even within these subtypes, patient populations are heterogeneous in their disease presentations. 

To learn more about CTCL, visit our CTCL Learning Page.