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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and skin cancer: A dangerous combination


  • Clark C Otley, MD.

  • Presented at the 3rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Society for Dermatology Research, Melbourne, Australia, 13 May 2006.

Dr Clark C Otley, Division of Dermatologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. Email:


There is a significant association between non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, and both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. This review highlights the existing data on the phenomenon of accelerated skin cancer in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and specifically chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The outcomes of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (including chronic lymphocytic leukaemia) and non-melanoma skin cancer are worse than in patients without concomitant lymphoreticular malignancy, as shown by increased rates of local recurrence, regional metastasis and death. Pathogenic factors may be common between non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and skin cancer. The treatment of skin cancer in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma must factor in the worse prognosis and adapt standard therapeutic approaches to minimize the risk of metastasis and death. Preventive strategies and early detection are paramount in this high-risk population.