Primary Cutaneous Follicle-center Lymphoma - A Topical Problem


Primary Cutaneous Follicle-center Lymphoma(PCFCL) is a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma subtype.

Specifically, it is a cutaneous lymphoma, meaning that lesions develop on the skin. Although most non-Hodgkins lymphomas affect the T-cells, this disease affects a person's B-cells. As such, PCFCL is the most commonly diagnosed cutaneous B-cell lymphoma, representing more than half of all cases.

Other subtypes include:

  • Primary Cutaneous B-Cell Lymphoma
  • Primary Cutaneous Marginal Zone Lymphoma
  • Primary Cutaneous Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, Leg Type

Treating Primary Cutaneous Follicle-center Lymphoma

Patients with PCFCL whose disease is stable, or who are asymptomatic, do not necessarily require treatment according to most expert clinical guidelines. Rather, those patients are simply 'observed'.

In patients who do require some treatment intervention, complete surgical excision of the lesion or lesions in question is common practice, as is radiotherapy.

Chemotherapy is rarely used against this lymphoma subtype, and that's because chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, meaning it will affect the whole body, and that's a bit of overkill when you're trying to treat lesions on the skin. Chemotherapy only becomes a common option when the patient's disease becomes resistant to other treatments.

Prognosis in Primary Cutaneous Follicle-center Lymphoma

In general, the prognosis for most patients with this disease is extremely good. There is a five-year disease-specific survival rate of as much as 98 percent. The relapse rate is about 30 percent, but often relapse does not correlate with prognosis.

Where prognosis gets a little tricky is on the legs. Patients whose disease presents on one or both of their legs have a substantially worse prognosis compared to patients whose disease does not present on the legs (the 5 year overall survival rate is 22 percent for the leg group and 92 percent for the no-leg-inolvement.

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