Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

One of the most common forms of T-cellA type of white blood cell that participates in immune responses by destroying harmful substances or cells. lymphoma is cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a general term for T-cell lymphomas that involve the skin. CTCL can also involve the blood, lymph nodesSmall bean-shaped glands located in the small vessels of the lymphatic system. There are thousands of lymph nodes located throughout the body, with clusters of them in the neck, under the arms, the chest, abdomen and groin. Lymph nodes filter lymph fluid, trapping and destroying potentially harmful bacteria and viruses., and other internal organs.

Symptoms can include dry skin, itching (which can be severe), a red rash, and enlarged lymphThe watery fluid in the lymph system that contains white blood cells (lymphocytes). nodes. The disease affects men more often than women and usually occurs in men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Most patients with CTCL experience only skin symptoms. Some patients with early stageThe extent of cancer in the body, including whether the disease has spread from the original site to other body parts. CTCL might not progress to later stages at all, while others might progress rapidly with the cancerAbnormal cell growth that cannot be controlled by the body's natural defenses. Cancerous cells can grow and eventually form tumors. spreading to lymph nodes and/or internal organs.

Subtypes of CTCL

CTCL describes many different disorders with various symptoms, outcomes, and treatment considerations:

  • Mycosis Fungoides (MF): the most common type of CTCL, accounting for approximately one-half of all CTCLs. MF can look different in each patient, with skin symptoms that can appear as patches, plaques, or tumors.
  • Sézary Syndrome: characterized by the presence of lymphoma cells in the blood, patients with Sézary Syndrome often present with extensive thin, red, itchy rashes that typically appear on the skin.

To learn more about CTCL, download the Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Fact Sheet.