CD8+ mycosis fungoides: A low-grade lymphoproliferative disorder

Maria Estela Martinez-Escala, Robert W. Kantor, Ahuva Cices, Xiaolong A. Zhou, Jason B. Kaplan, Barbara Pro, Jaehyuk Choi, Joan Guitart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background The prognosis of the CD8+ subtype of mycosis fungoides (MF) is controversial. Although most authors believe that determining the presence of this cell surface antigen has no prognostic value, others have observed a more indolent course for CD8+ MF compared with CD4+ MF. Objectives To review the cases of CD8+ MF in the pediatric and adult populations seen at our institution. Methods This is a retrospective review of clinical and pathologic data. Age, stage at presentation, and outcomes of patients at our institution were compared with those of 2 large MF cohorts that predominantly were CD4+ from the relevant literature. Results Sixty-seven patients of a median age of 46 years were included. A higher frequency of early-stage disease was observed for CD8+ MF patients at diagnosis when compared with other cohorts, including 31 (47%) patients with stage IA, 33 (50%) with stage IB, and 2 (3%) with stage IIB (P = .001, P = .001, and P = .002, respectively). With a median follow-up (5.5 years, range 0.2-21 years) similar to other cohorts, a higher rate of complete remission was achieved (65.5%, P = .001), and a lower rate of progression was observed (P = .004). Limitations This is a retrospective review. Conclusion Our experience with CD8+ MF confirms a more indolent course of disease with this MF variant. Our results warrant a conservative treatment approach limited to skin-directed therapies and observation in most patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-496
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • CD8 phenotype
  • cutaneous lymphoma
  • lymphoproliferative disorder
  • mycosis fungoides
  • prognosis
  • skin directed-therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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