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June 1, 2008

Clinical Research in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Moving Forward

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(6):786-787. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.6.786

The 2 articles in this issue of the Archives on cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL)1,2 highlight several developments related to clinical research in this field. By introducing the term cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in 1980, Edelson3 helped to bridge the gap in communication between dermatologists, talking of reticulohistiocytoma and mycosis fungoides (MF), and hematooncologists, dealing with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin disease. The initial advantage of this unifying concept later became an obstacle for further progress, since some researchers and clinicians lumped together all CTCLs of the skin into 1 disease entity, missing differences in clinical course and therapeutic responses between, for example, MF and Sézary syndrome. It was with the publication of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)4 classification of cutaneous lymphomas in 1997 that these differences were broadly acknowledged, finally also by the World Health Organization (WHO) pathology group together with the EORTC Cutaneous Lymphoma Study Group.5 This joint classification is unique among all WHO classifications and documents the strong position dermatology has gained in this field, not only clinically but also in the realm of histopathology.

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