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Profile and Outcome of Childhood Mycosis Fungoides in Singapore


Address correspondence to Eileen Tan, M.D., National Skin Centre, 1 Mandalay Rd., Singapore 308205, or e-mail:


Abstract: Mycosis fungoides (MF) is the most common form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. It usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly persons, although several reports have described its occurrence in young children. The aim of this study was to review the profile and outcome of childhood MF in Singapore from 1989 to 1998. A total of nine patients (six males and three females) were diagnosed with MF before the age of 21 years. There were four Chinese, four Malay, and one Indian. The age at the time of histologic diagnosis ranged from 6 to 20 years (mean 14.3 years). Eight of the nine patients presented with hypopigmented patches and plaques. According to TNM staging, three were in stage 1A and six in stage 1B. The treatment modalities included psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) (n = 5), UVB (n = 2), and potent topical steroids (n = 2). We found that PUVA induced a faster clinical remission, but maintenance PUVA was required to prolong the relapse-free interval. This study also highlighted the need to consider MF in the differential diagnosis of hypopigmented dermatoses in dark-skinned individuals, especially if they occur on the buttocks.