Cutaneous T cell lymphoma ( CTCL ) is a class of non-Hodgkin lymphoma , which is a type of cancer of the immune system . Unlike most non-Hodgkin lymphomas (which are generally B cell related), CTCL is caused by a mutation of T cells . The cancerous T cells in the body initially migrate to the skin , causing various lesions to appear. These lesions change shape as the disease progresses, typically beginning as what appears to be a rash which can be very itchy and eventually forming plaques and tumors before spreading to other parts of the body.
In this individually matched case-control study, de Jong and colleagues searched a population-based nationwide pathology database in the Netherlands for all patients with lymphoma in the breast diagnosed between 1990 and 2006. Cases were defined as women with a histologically confirmed diagnosis of primary ALCL in the breast. Controls, identified from the same database and selected for each case, consisted of 3 to 7 women who had histologically confirmed diagnoses of primary lymphoma in the breast other than ALCL. Cases were matched for age at diagnosis (+/- 5 years) and year of diagnosis (+/- 2 years). Pathology reports were reviewed for all controls, and questionnaires were sent to the treating physicians of all cases and controls to collect information on medical history (including previous malignancies, staging results, presence of breast prostheses and mammography results).
Adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma (ATLL), is a serious blood disease in which there are large numbers of circulating atypical cells. It is caused by a retrovirus infection with human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV I). The condition can be divided into acute and chronic types. Acute ATLL is characterised by skin lesions similar to those found in mycosis fungoides or Sézary syndrome , enlarged lymph glands, high levels of calcium in the blood and bone lesions. Prognosis is poor for this type with survival ranging from 2 weeks to more than 1 year. Chronic ATLL present with skin lesions only and have a longer clinical course and survival, however this may transform into an acute phase with an aggressive course.