Background The influence of phenotype and detection of clonality on prognosis in early mycosis fungoides has never been addressed in large studies.
Objectives To correlate immunophenotype and detection of clonality with clinical outcome.
Methods We analysed 73 biopsy specimens from 68 patients with early mycosis fungoides (stage Ia or Ib) and at least 10 years of follow up (or dead of disease).
Results Four phenotypic groups could be identified: group A (α/β+ CD4+ CD8− TIA1−), 51 patients; median survival time 160 months; group B (α/β+ CD4− CD8+ TIA1+), 10 patients; median survival time 195 months; group C (α/β− CD4− CD8+/− TIA1+), five patients; median survival time 165 months; and group D (α/β+ CD4− CD8− TIA1−), two patients; median survival time 130 months. Survival curves did not show statistical differences among the groups. Monoclonality was detected in 36 of 67 tested biopsies (54%), and statistical analyses did not show prognostic differences between the clonal and nonclonal cases.
Conclusions We conclude that cytotoxic phenotype and detection of monoclonal T-cell receptor-γ gene rearrangement in early lesions of mycosis fungoides do not have any prognostic significance.