The International Society for Cutaneous Lymphoma (ISCL) proposes a diagnostic algorithm for early mycosis fungoides (MF) that includes clinical, histological, immunophenotypical, and molecular criteria. Here, we analyzed the immunologic markers and features of T-cell clonality in 38 early MF cases and 22 non-MF cases to validate the ISCL algorithm. We found that CD5 and CD7 expression differed significantly between early MF and non-MF cases, with epidermal discordance of CD7 expression more frequently identified in early MF. Notably, increasing the cut-off value for CD7 expression from 10% to 22.5% improved its sensitivity. Furthermore, TCR-γ and β chain rearrangements were more frequently detected in early MF than in non-MF cases. Based on these findings, we propose CD5 and CD7 deficiency as mandatory immunopathologic criteria and PCR-based testing for TCR-γ and β chains as required molecular/biologic criteria to improve the efficiency of early MF diagnosis using the ISCL algorithm.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), grant number 2020R1F1A1076774 (S.-K.K.).
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