Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome: Current challenges in assessment, management and prognostic markers.Australas J Dermatol 2016; 57(3):182-91AJ
Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome are the most common variants of the cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. Assessment of a patient with a suspected diagnosis requires thorough history taking and physical examination, in combination with skin biopsy. In some cases flow cytometry, molecular studies and imaging are also required in order to diagnose and stage the disease. Staging is derived from the tumour-node-metastasis-blood classification and is currently our best attempt to stratify prognosis and hence guide management in this complex disease. Many other clinical, biological and pathological factors may help to distinguish groups at risk and predict prognosis more accurately. Management remains heavily guided by staging, such that patients with early-stage disease generally begin treatment with skin-directed or local therapies and those with advanced-stage disease have many treatment options, including chemotherapy, the use of biological agents, local and total body radiotherapy, as well as haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Besides staging, many other patient-related factors influence the treatment strategy, particularly where symptom relief is paramount. There are many challenges remaining in the study of Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome and, given the rarity of the disease, concerted worldwide efforts are required to conduct efficient and effective research.