Conjugal transformed mycosis fungoides: The unknown role of viral infection and environmental exposures in the development of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

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Abstract

The etiology of mycosis fungoides (MF) is uncertain, although infectious agents and other environmental exposures have been implicated. We describe what appears to be the first case in which both a husband and his wife were diagnosed with large-cell transformation of MF. After 10 years of having stage I MF, the wife developed tumors that showed sheets of large transformed cells with dysplastic nuclei on skin biopsies, leading to a diagnosis of transformed MF. Her husband was diagnosed 14 months later with transformed MF following a biopsy of his right arm and leg after a 15-year history of presumed psoriasis. The fact that this rare occurrence happened in a couple who had been married for more than 25 years points to a common environmental exposure. Future studies should aim to clarify the potential role of infectious agents, such as human T-lymphotropic virus I and II, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and other environmental exposures, in the development of MF.

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