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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1982 Jul;7(1):1-16.

Controversies in mycosis fungoides.


Most clinicians agree that mycosis fungoides is the prototypic cutaneous T cell lymphoma. However, certain clinical characteristics indicate that this disorder may begin as a reactive rather than a neoplastic process. The concept of a nonneoplastic etiopathogenesis of mycosis fungoides is further supported by recent data on the function of Langerhans cells, a population of epidermal cells known to play a critical role in immune surveillance and the development of contact sensitivity. It has been suggested that chronic occupational exposure to environmental allergens results in persistent antigenic stimulation, leading to a breakdown in immune surveillance and eventually, malignancy. Modern laboratory technics have enhanced the clinician's ability to diagnose and stage mycosis fungoides. Data obtained from such studies have indicated that systemic spread may occur much earlier in the course of disease than has previously been appreciated. The therapeutic implications of such knowledge are as yet uncertain.

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