PURPOSE: Primary cutaneous follicle center cell lymphomas (PCFCCL) are a distinct group of cutaneous B-cell lymphomas with a favorable prognosis after radiotherapy (RT) or polychemotherapy (PCT). In the literature, conflicting data exist regarding the efficacy and the relapse rate of both treatment modalities. In the present study, treatment results and follow-up data of a large group of PCFCCL are evaluated.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fifty-five patients with a PCFCCL who presented with skin lesions on either the head (n = 12), the trunk (n = 35), or lower legs (n = 8), and who were initially treated with RT (40 cases) or PCT (15 cases) were studied.
RESULTS: RT resulted in a complete remission in all 40 cases. Eight cases relapsed and three of these patients died as a result of their lymphoma. The estimated 5-year survival was 89%. Four of eight relapses and all three lymphoma-related deaths occurred in the group of patients presenting with tumor(s) on the lower legs. Treatment with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) or cyclophosphomide, vincristine, and prednisone (COP) resulted in a complete remission in 14 of 15 cases. All four cases treated with COP relapsed, whereas only two of 11 patients treated with CHOP had a relapse. The estimated 5-year survival rate of the PCT group was 93%.
CONCLUSION: Both RT and CHOP PCT are highly effective modes of treatment for PCFCCL. In localized PCFCCL, RT is the treatment of choice. In patients with multiple tumors involving anatomic nonrelated parts of the skin, CHOP rather than COP PCT is the preferred mode of treatment. PCFCCL on the lower legs, a subgroup that characteristically occur in elderly patients, have a higher relapse rate and a less favorable prognosis than PCFCCL presenting on the head or trunk.