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Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia: clinical characteristics, temporal relationships, and survival data in a series of 14 patients at Mayo Clinic


  • Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
  • Funding sources: None.
  • Funding disclosures: J.D.B. was the recipient of the Dermatology Foundation Career Development Award for the study of lymphoma-associated skin cancer.
  • Drug list: Oncovin (vincristine).



We examined the course of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), which has been associated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in patients with CLL.

Materials and methods

A search was conducted of the master diagnosis index at our institution to identify patients with both CLL and CTCL from 1980 to 2010. A retrospective chart review was then conducted.


Of the 14 patients with CTCL and CLL, eight had mycosis fungoides (MF; two with patch stage, two with plaque stage, two with tumor stage, and two with erythrodermic stage), four had Sézary syndrome, one had natural killer cell lymphoma involving the skin, and one had peripheral T-cell lymphoma involving the skin. Eight had concurrent diagnoses, five received a CLL diagnosis first, and one received a CTCL diagnosis first. Ten patients were deceased at the time of data abstraction due to unknown causes (= 4), lymphoma (= 2), pneumonia (= 2), MF (= 1), or respiratory failure (= 1). Of the nine patients with concurrent or prior CTCL, seven were deceased, with a median time to death of 10.2 months (range, 6–89 months). Of the five patients with CLL prior to CTCL, three were deceased at 18, 27, and 47 months, respectively, after the CTCL diagnosis. The median survival for the two groups was 12 and 47 months, respectively.


Patients with CTCL concurrent with or prior to CLL have a worse overall survival than patients with CLL in whom CTCL later develops. Larger studies are needed.