A review of CD30 expression in cutaneous neoplasms

J Cutan Pathol. 2021 Apr;48(4):495-510. doi: 10.1111/cup.13894. Epub 2020 Nov 6.


Background: The surface protein CD30 is a therapeutic target of monoclonal antibody therapy. Knowledge of the frequency of CD30 expression and its prognostic relevance is therefore interesting, not only in lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD) but also in solid tumors of the skin.

Methods: A review was completed in PubMed for all published reports of CD30 expression in cutaneous lymphomas, mastocytosis, epithelial tumors and sarcomas from 1982 to April 2019. Only accessible articles in English and German were considered. Entities with an expected CD30 expression, such as CD30-positive LPD, were not evaluated.

Results: The electronic research identified 1091 articles and a further 34 articles were obtained from manual bibliographic reference. Overall 91 articles were included that examined CD30 expression in various entities of cutaneous neoplasms and matched the inclusion criteria.

Conclusion: Apart from cutaneous CD30-positive LPD, the best-studied group for CD30 expression was mycosis fungoides (MF). CD30 positivity was found in 32% of classical (patch and plaque stage) and in 59.4% cases of transformed MF. CD30 was also frequently expressed in cutaneous mastocytosis (96.5%). In solid tumors, some single reports describe CD30 expression by tumor cells, but CD30-reactive lymphocytes were frequently observed in the tumor microenvironment (TME), especially in keratoacanthoma (KA).

Keywords: carcinoma; lymphoma; mastocytosis; mycosis fungoides; sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Keratoacanthoma / metabolism
  • Keratoacanthoma / pathology
  • Ki-1 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / metabolism*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / pathology
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / metabolism*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / pathology
  • Mastocytosis / metabolism
  • Mastocytosis / pathology
  • Mycosis Fungoides / metabolism
  • Mycosis Fungoides / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma / metabolism
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology*


  • Ki-1 Antigen