Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Overview

Checking lymph nodes for cutaneous t-cell lymphoma

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is also known as "cutaneous lymphoma" or "lymphoma of the skin." This type of cancer develops in the white blood cells called "T-lymphocytes." These T cells are found in lymph tissue throughout the body, including in the skin. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is typically slow-growing and can develop over the course of many years.

Symptoms of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

Some signs and symptoms of cutaneous lymphoma include:

  • Round patches of skin that may be raised, scaly or itchy
  • Tumors that develop on the skin
  • Patches of skin that are lighter in color than surrounding skin
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Extremely itchy skin with redness covering the whole body

Moffitt’s approach to treating cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we take a comprehensive and multispecialty approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. This means that our treatment team comprises experts from all specialties within our Malignant Hematology and Cutaneous Oncology Programs—dermatologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, dermatopathologists, surgical oncologists, social workers, researchers and many other professionals. Our multispecialty team collaborates to develop an individualized treatment plan for each of our patients, tailored to their unique needs and preferences. Therapy varies from patient to patient, but may include:

  • Skin-directed therapies:
    • Topicals – Creams, lotions, ointments, gels that are used to destroy cancer cells.
    • Phototherapy – Types of ultraviolet light are used to destroy cancer cells.
    • Radiation therapy – High-energy beams of radiation are used to destroy the body’s cancerous cells.
  • Immunotherapy – Genetically modified cells or man-made antibodies are introduced to the body to help the patient’s immune system destroy cancer cells or slow their growth.
  • Photopheresis – Photoimmune therapy is used to destroy lymphoma cells.
  • Chemotherapy – Medications are delivered intravenously or orally to destroy cancer cells.
  • Stem cell transplantation – Abnormal cells in the blood and bone marrow are replaced with healthy new stem cells.
  • Clinical trials

As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Moffitt is also widely recognized for its robust clinical trials program. This program allows our patients access to many groundbreaking therapies before they are available elsewhere.

For more information about cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, contact Moffitt Cancer Center. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form online.