Circulating CD8+ lymphocytes, white blood cells, and survival in patients with mycosis fungoides

Damiano Abeni, M. Frontani, F. Sampogna, F. Sera, S. Bolli, R. Corona, G. Baliva, G. Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is a need for reliable, easily measurable laboratory markers that may help dermatologists to predict the course of mycosis fungoides (MF) when they first evaluate their patients. Objectives: Our objective was to identify clinical, haematological or immunological parameters as predictors of mortality in patients with MF. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study on a prevalent cohort of 124 patients with MF hospitalized at IDI-IRCCS, Rome, Italy, from 1983 to 2001. We calculated the proportion of patients surviving (Kaplan-Meier product-limit estimates) 5 and 10 years after first hospital admission, and hazard ratios (HR) from the Cox proportional hazards model. Results: Patients' survival was linked to age and staging (lower survival in older patients and in patients with staging IIB-IV). Higher numbers of white blood cells (WBC) and neutrophils, lower numbers of CD8+ lymphocytes, low haematocrit and lower levels of albumin were significantly associated with a lower survival probability. When simultaneously accounting for age and staging, CD8+ [HR = 3.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-9.07 for CD8+ -1] and WBC (HR = 2.59, 95% CI 0.96-6.96 for WBC ≥9000 vs. <6000 cells μL-1) were associated with survival. In addition, we observed an exceedingly high risk of death (HR = 12.40, 95% CI 3.11-49.43) for patients with a combination of WBC ≥9000 and CD8+ -1 vs. WBC -1). Conclusions: The measurement of CD8+ cells and WBC in MF seems to be a promising criterion to predict survival, and possibly to support treatment decisions and inclusion of patients in randomized controlled trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


  • CD8+ lymphocytes
  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Mycosis fungoides
  • Survival
  • White blood cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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