Cutaneous Lymphoma

UC San Diego Health provides the only cutaneous lymphoma clinic of its kind in the San Diego region.

This disease appears in the skin but also involves white blood cells. Our specialists in dermatology, hematology, oncology, and bone and marrow transplant collaborate to give comprehensive care for patients with these lymphomas, including:

Cutaneous lymphoma is a rare subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that starts in the skin. The cancer cells originate in white blood cells called lymphocytes, which usually involve T-cells (the more common form of lymphoma) or B-cells. Both types of lymphoma can affect the skin, lymph nodes, peripheral blood and internal organs.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for cutaneous lymphoma depend on the lymphoma type, any previous treatments received and their effects, and the patient's condition and overall needs. At UC San Diego Health, treatment approaches may include:

  • Skin-directed therapies such as topical treatments like steroids, retinoids and chemotherapy, as well as phototherapy (light therapy), skin radiation, and surgical removal of lesions.
  • Systemic therapies with drugs given orally, intravenously or subcutaneously (injected under the skin). This can include immunotherapy, which uses the body's own immune system to destroy cancer cells.
  • Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation when the disease is advanced.