Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma

This information is useful for children and adults
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Why Yale Medicine?
  • Expertise in the diagnosis of this rare, difficult-to-identify skin condition
  • A wide array of treatment options offered in one convenient location
  • Advanced treatments, including phototherapy, Photopheresis and ongoing clinical trials

Most people are aware of the basic types of skin cancer but not so many have heard of a rare type of lymphoma called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) that is often first noticed because of skin symptoms. 

Though T-cell lymphoma can also involve the blood, lymph nodes and internal organs, it most commonly affects the skin, causing rash-like patches, itching and sometimes even tumors. T-cell lymphoma is not curable but it is treatable. 

Yale Medicine's Department of Dermatology offers expert, multidisciplinary care and advanced treatments, including phototherapy for this unusual type of lymphoma. 

T-cell lymphoma is a rare form of lymphoma that can affect many different parts of the body, including the blood, lymph system and internal organs. Usually, however, CTCL presents with skin symptoms, sometimes very mild ones such as small patches of redness or dry skin that grow or spread very slowly, over long periods of time. Sometimes, however, CTCL is aggressive and moves quickly.

Though cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is chronic, it is treatable. Patients who enter remission should be monitored closely for returning symptoms.

“In the spectrum of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, it’s one of the ones that has a better prognosis,” says Michael Girardi, MD, vice chair and program director of the Department of Dermatology at Yale Medicine. He is also a professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.