CD8-positive tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes influence the long-term survival of patients with mycosis fungoides

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1995 Mar;32(3):448-53. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(95)90067-5.


Background: Nonneoplastic mononuclear cells commonly infiltrate lesions of mycosis fungoides.

Objective: We sought to determine the immunophenotypic characteristics of these cells and to determine whether the presence of CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes has an impact on prognosis.

Methods: Skin biopsy specimens from 78 patients were stained with immunopleroxidase techniques to determine their phenotypic characteristics. The proportion of CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes was quantified and compared with stage of disease and survival rate.

Results: Patients with more limited T-stage disease tended to have a higher proportion of CD8+ cells in their skin biopsy specimens, compared with patients with more advanced T-stage disease. Within each T-stage patients with a larger proportion of CD8+ cells had a better survival rate than those with fewer CD8+ cells (p < 0.05 for T1 and T3). A multivariate analysis confirmed the importance of T stage (p = 0.0006), overall stage (p = 0.0112), and CD8 positivity (p = 0.0335) in this cohort of patients.

Conclusion: CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in mycosis fungoides correlate with improved survival rate and may exert an antitumor effect rather than being mere bystander cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actuarial Analysis
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Mycosis Fungoides / immunology*
  • Mycosis Fungoides / mortality
  • Mycosis Fungoides / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors