Primary Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphomas Showing Gamma-Delta (γδ) Phenotype and Predominantly Epidermotropic Pattern are Clinicopathologically Distinct From Classic Primary Cutaneous γδ T-Cell Lymphomas

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Abstract

Primary cutaneous gamma-delta (γδ) T-cell lymphoma is a rare disease that typically involves the dermis and subcutis. Cases of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas showing γδ phenotype and predominantly epidermotropic pattern (EγδTCL) are not well defined. In this series, cases of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas showing γδ phenotype were reviewed and classified as predominantly epidermotropic (EγδTCL) when >75% of lymphoma cells resided in the epidermis or predominantly dermal and/or subcutaneous (DSγδTCL). Clinical, pathologic, and immunophenotypic features were compared in 27 biopsies from 13 patients of EγδTCL and 13 biopsies from 7 patients of DSγδTCL. The lymphoma cells were diffusely positive for CD3 and T-cell receptor (TCR)γ, mostly positive for granzyme B and TIA-1, variably positive for CD8, CD7, and CD30, and negative for CD4 and TCRβ. Two patients with EγδTCL had dissemination to lymph nodes and 1 to the lung; 1 patient with DSγδTCL had gastrointestinal involvement. The median survival of patients with EγδTCL was not reached, and with a median follow-up of 19.2 months, 3/13 died. In contrast, the median survival of patients with DSγδTCL was 10 months, and after a median follow-up of 15.6 months, 5/5 died (P<0.01). EγδTCL is a rare presentation of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that can be distinguished from DSγδTCL based on the extent of epidermotropism and has a better prognosis and longer median survival than DSγδTCL. However, although EγδTCL resembles mycosis fungoides clinically and histologically, a subset of EγδTCL is more likely to behave more aggressively than typical mycosis fungoides.

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