What is the mortality and prognosis of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL)?

Updated: Apr 20, 2020
  • Author: Lauren C Pinter-Brown, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome are incurable conditions in most patients, with the exception of those with stage IA disease.

Mortality and prognosis are related to the disease stage at diagnosis, as well as to the type and extent of skin lesions and the whether or not extracutaneous disease is present, as demonstrated by the following [1, 48] :

  • Patients diagnosed with stage IA mycosis fungoides (patch or plaque skin disease limited to < 10% of the skin surface area) who undergo treatment have an overall life expectancy similar to age-, sex-, and race-matched controls (10-year survival rate of 97-98%)

  • Patients who have stage IIB disease with cutaneous tumors have a median survival rate of 3.2 years (10-year survival rate of 42%)

  • Patients who have stage III disease (generalized erythroderma) have a median survival rate of 4-6 years (10-year survival rate of 83%)

  • Patients with extracutaneous disease stage IVA (lymph nodes) or stage IVB (viscera) have a survival rate of less than 1.5 years (10-year survival rate of 20% for patients with histologically documented lymph node involvement)

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