Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL) is a type of lymphoma, or cancer of the immune cells, that arises in T-cells in the skin (primarily). T-cells are an integral part of the immune system, helping to recognize and fight against viruses, bacteria, and even other types of cancers. CTCL is a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is most common in the skin, but may affect the blood, lymph nodes, and other internal organs as well. This disease affects men more often than women, and usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 70. There are many forms of treatment that are used to slow the progression of CTCL, but none that serve as curative. Recently, however, there have been a number of emerging biologic and targeted therapies that can have impressive success with treating CTCL. This article will focus on the diagnosis/treatment planning of CTCL as well as describe several widely used treatments for CTCL.
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Understanding Lymphoma: Lymphoma is a group of blood cancers that affect the lymphatic system, a complex disease-fighting network within the body’s immune system. The many types of lymphoma can be divided into two categories: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).