The search for prognostic markers and treatment options for cutaneous lymphoma

August 30, 2016, Medical University of Vienna
The search for prognostic markers and treatment options for cutaneous lymphoma
16th World Congress on Cancers of the Skin starts on Wednesday in the Wiener Hofburg. Credit: Medical University of Vienna

Primary cutaneous lymphomas, cancers of the lymphatic system, occur in the skin and originate either from T-lymphocytes (T-cell lymphomas, incidence 75 percent) or in B-cell lymphocytes (B-cell lymphomas, 25 percent). Lymphocytes are cells of the blood system. This is a rare disease of ultimately unknown causation. Every year there are 6 – 8 new cases for every million people. MedUni Vienna is simultaneously conducting several studies relating to this disease with the aim of identifying prognostic markers for the course of the disease and also generally improving the quality of life and survival rate of those affected.

"In the early stage of the , the prognosis is excellent and normal life expectancy is hardly affected," explains Constanze Jonak of MedUni Vienna's Department of Dermatology. "But when the disease is advanced, the 5-year survival rate drops to 0 to 39 percent and the disease is terminal." Cutaneous lymphoma is always associated with symptoms of severe itching and skin rashes and, in the advanced stage, can lead to skin tumours and erythroderma ("red man syndrome"). The cutaneous symptoms of this disease can be disfiguring. Existing treatments are limited and, in any case, are only effective in the short term.

In a recent study, MedUni Vienna researchers were able to confirm prognostic markers for the disease and they are also taking part in the largest ever international study to establish a prognostic index for cutaneous lymphomas.

They also documented the longest after-care periods for patients with cutaneous B-cell lymphomas ever studied, using the antibody Rituximab (an antibody against the protein CD20), which targets surface markers on B-cells and brings about the destruction of the lymphoma cells. Jonak: "The treatment was very successful in the majority of patients. Recurrences were quite common but patients responded to the therapy once more.

In another project currently being conducted at MedUni Vienna's Department of Dermatology, cutaneous lymphoma patients are being surveyed regarding their quality of life and, for the first time, regarding their "perception of the disease" and "experience of the disease, their own personal experience and how they cope with this disease and the results are being analysed.

Explore further: Foot site independent risk factor for melanoma outcome

Related Stories

Foot site independent risk factor for melanoma outcome

August 31, 2015
(HealthDay)—Foot melanoma seems to represent a specific subgroup and is a negative independent prognostic factor for disease-specific survival and disease-free interval, according to a study published in the September issue ...

Melanoma—mechanisms of BRAF-inhibitor resistance deciphered

August 29, 2016
BRAF mutation occurs in between 40% and 50% of metastasising melanomas (skin cancers), boosting tumour growth. Patients with metastasising melanomas and who display BRAF mutation can be treated with an inhibitor that acts ...

Social media helps diagnose parasitic disease in teen travelers

August 2, 2016
A new report details how physicians and patients used social media to help diagnose cutaneous leishmaniasis in a group of teens who traveled on a youth adventure trip to Israel. Their posts quickly brought the cluster to ...

Five-year survival data: Brentuximab vedotin may be curative in some with Hodgkin lymphoma

July 18, 2016
Five-year survival data published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), suggest that the targeted therapy brentuximab vedotin may have cured some Hodgkin lymphoma patients whose disease ...

Triple therapy regime puts patients with leukemic form of cutaneous lymphoma in remission

August 15, 2011
A three-pronged immunotherapy approach nearly doubles five-year survival among patients with rare leukemic form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, reports a new study by dermatologists from the Abramson Cancer Center and Perelman ...

Blocking the migration of cancer cells to destroy them

August 4, 2016
Lymphoma is a cancer that affects lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. The disease originates in a lymphoid organ (lymph node, spleen, or bone marrow) before spreading through the blood to infiltrate not only other lymphoid ...

Recommended for you

New insight into stem cell behaviour highlights therapeutic target for cancer treatment

December 12, 2018
Research led by the University of Plymouth and Technische Universität Dresden has identified a new therapeutic target for cancer treatment and tissue regeneration – a protein called Prominin-1.

Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

December 12, 2018
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth—this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel's Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, ...

Researchers use computer model to predict prostate cancer progression

December 12, 2018
An international team of cancer researchers from Denmark and Germany have used cancer patient data to develop a computer model that can predict the progression of prostate cancer. The model is currently being implemented ...

Loss of two genes drives a deadly form of colorectal cancer, reveals a potential treatment

December 11, 2018
Colorectal cancers arise from earlier growths, called polyps, found on the inner surface of the colon. Scientists are now learning that polyps use two distinct molecular pathways as they progress to cancer, called the "conventional" ...

Successful anti-PD-1 therapy requires interaction between CD8+ T cells and dendritic cells

December 11, 2018
A team led by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigator has found that successful cancer immunotherapy targeting the PD-1 molecule requires interaction between cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, which have been considered ...

Taking uncertainty out of cancer prognosis

December 11, 2018
A cancer diagnosis tells you that you have cancer, but how that cancer will progress is a terrifying uncertainty for most patients. Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have now identified a specific class ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.