Oral fludarabine treatment of cutaneous infiltration in a patient with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

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In B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL), cutaneous infiltration is far less common than in T-cell CLL. However, the effect of fludarabine on cutaneous infiltration in patients with B-CLL is uncertain. We describe a 63-year-old man with B-CLL presenting with cutaneous lesions, who was treated successfully with oral fludarabine. Skin biopsy of one of these lesions revealed diffuse infiltration of uniform lymphocytes. Using PCR analysis, the same immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene rearrangement was found in lymphocytes in all samples (peripheral blood, bone marrow and skin lesion). The patient received four courses of oral fludarabine. Simultaneously with the normalization of the peripheral blood lymphocytosis, the patient became free of the cutaneous infiltration of CLL after four courses of oral fludarabine. Skin lesions had not recurred by the 12-month follow-up examination. To our knowledge, this is the first case of B-CLL leukaemia cutis treated with oral fludarabine. The introduction of fludarabine may contribute to a better outlook for these patients in the future.

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