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Blood. 2003 Mar 15;101(6):2132-6. Epub 2002 Nov 21.

Cytomegalovirus seropositivity is significantly associated with mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome.

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Department of Dermatology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030-4095, USA.


Although mycosis fungoides (MF) may arise through persistent antigen stimulation, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is not a known risk factor. To study the incidence of seropositivity to viral infections, we compared MF and Sézary Syndrome (SS) patients to healthy bone marrow donors and other historical control groups. Baseline screening serologies at baseline were performed on 116 biopsy-proven MF/SS patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1992 to 2001 and on healthy bone marrow donors evaluated by the transplant service from 1988 to 2001. Antibodies to HTLV-I/II, HIV-1, EBV, and CMV were measured using standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) and membrane enzyme immunoassay (MEIA) assays. One hundred thirteen (97.4%) of all MF/SS patients had positive CMV IgG serologies at initial presentation. Early- and late-stage patients' seropositivity rates were significantly higher than healthy bone marrow donor controls (chi(2).05(df=1) = 71.79). By stage, 98.1% of early-stage MF patients (IA, IB, IIA; 52/53) and 96.8% of late-stage MF and SS patients (IIB-IVB; 61/63) were seropositive compared with healthy bone marrow donors whose seropositivity rate was 57.3% (757/1322). Because the rate of CMV seropositivity increases with age, a subset of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) patients 55 years or younger were compared to age-matched healthy donor controls; their seropositivity rate for CMV was also significantly higher (chi(2).05 05(df=1) = 20.4). EBV titers were positive by serology in 13 patients who were examined prospectively. CMV seropositivity is highly associated with MF and SS, even in the earliest stages of the disease, and is significantly higher than that of healthy and immunocompromised controls.

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