Transformed Mycosis Fungoides
One of the most common forms of t-cell lymphoma is cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a general term for T-cell lymphomas that cause skin lesions. Although the skin is involved, the skin cells themselves are not cancerous, but rather the T cells that move from the blood to the skin tissue are. Transformed Mycosis Fungoides (TMF) is the most common type of CTCL, with approximately five cases per one million persons across the United States.
Transformed MF occurs when a specific subset of MF tumor cells undergo molecular and/or genetic changes that cause them to become larger. It is the presence of these larger cells (in a specific quantity) that differentiates transformed MF from MF. Only some MF patients develop transformed MF, making the disease very rare. The only sure way to know if a patient has transformed MF is to do a biopsy and have it reviewed by a pathologist (doctor who specializes in diagnosing disease by looking at tumor tissue under a microscope). Transformed MF typically acts aggressively (fast-growing).
Physicians of patients with transformed MF may see signs that include the presences of a new solitary nodule within a classic MF patch or plaque, an abrupt onset of multiple scattered papules and/or nodules that do not go away on their own, a new or enlarging tumor or an enlarged lymphoma.
To learn more about transformed MF, download the Transformed Mycosis Fungoides Fact Sheet.