Pathogenesis and Therapy of Primary Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma: Collegium Internationale Allergologicum (CIA) Update 2020

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2020;181(10):733-745. doi: 10.1159/000509281. Epub 2020 Jul 20.


Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a heterogeneous disease group of unknown etiology with a complex immunological background. As CTCL arises from T cells that have a vital role in the antitumor response, their therapy is largely aimed at reversing the immunological mechanisms leading to or manifesting during this malignancy. Early disease stages can be controlled with skin-directed therapy in most CTCL cases. Still, advanced CTCL has a dismal prognosis and warrants systemic therapy. Despite considerable progress in understanding the pathophysiology of the disease and the numerous systemic treatment options available, long-term remission rates with conventional treatments alone are still low. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is currently the only curative option for advanced CTCL, including mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome. The aims of this review is to summarize the recent findings on the immunology of this heterogeneous disease and to present the advances in its clinical management.

Keywords: Pathogenesis; Skin; T-cell lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / immunology*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / therapy
  • Mycosis Fungoides / immunology*
  • Mycosis Fungoides / therapy
  • Sezary Syndrome / immunology*
  • Sezary Syndrome / therapy
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology*
  • Transplantation, Homologous