Mycosis Fungoides and Its Relationship to Atopy, Serum Total IgE, and Eosinophil Counts

Eric C. Vonderheid, Robert G. Hamilton, Marshall E. Kadin

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Introduction: A recent serologic study and reports of increased serum total IgE (IgE-t) and eosinophil counts have suggested that the prevalence of atopy is more common in patients with mycosis fungoides (MF) than previously recognized. Patients and Methods: Patients with clinicopathologic features that were diagnostic and/or consistent with MF and/or the presence or absence of an atopic disorder (eg, allergic rhinitis, asthma, eczematous dermatitis), which was determined by patient history, eosinophil counts, and serum IgE-t obtained at evaluation, were selected from a patient registry. The MF population was divided into those with atypical and typical clinical presentations. We performed matching of controls using age, sex, and race from the 2005 to 2006 National Health Education Survey. Results: A history of allergic rhinitis was recorded for 186 of 728 patients (25.5%) with typical MF and 71 of 229 patients (31%) with atypical MF. However, the prevalence of asthma and eczema was low. The IgE-t and eosinophil counts were higher for patients with typical MF than for controls and for patients with atopic diathesis than for patients without atopy. The IgE-t and eosinophil counts were higher for the patients with advanced-stage MF compared with those for the patients with less-advanced disease for both atopic and nonatopic cohorts. In the Cox model with age and clinical stage as covariates, a history of atopy, increased IgE-t, and blood eosinophilia (> 500 cells/mm3) did not correlate with overall survival. Conclusion: The findings from the present study did not reveal a significant association of atopy in patients with MF. However, atopy is a factor in the increased IgE-t and eosinophil counts observed in MF. Another factor is related to the disease stage, including possibly the influence of cytokines secreted by T-helper type 2-polarized neoplastic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-288.e7
JournalClinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Allergy
  • Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma
  • Cytokines
  • Eosinophilia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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