Cutaneous malignancies in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

J Dermatol. 2024 Mar;51(3):353-364. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.17126. Epub 2024 Jan 31.


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a common lymphoid malignancy that is associated with an increased risk of developing cutaneous malignancies. Clinical outcomes for these malignancies, including melanoma and keratinocyte cancers (KC), are worse for patients with CLL. Individuals with CLL develop an immunodeficiency of both the adaptive and innate immune system, which plays a role in the increased prevalence of skin cancers. This review focuses on the complex interplay between genetics, immunity, and pathogens that influence the cellular composition and biology of skin tumors and their microenvironment in CLL patients, and in comparison with other chronic hematological malignancies. It is paramount for dermatologists to be aware of the association between CLL (and chronic hematological malignancies more broadly) and cutaneous malignancies. This is a high-risk population who require regular and vigorous dermatologic follow-up.

Keywords: chronic B-cell; leukemia; melanoma; skin neoplasms; squamous cell.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hematologic Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell* / complications
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell* / epidemiology
  • Melanoma* / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms* / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Tumor Microenvironment