The role of tumor microenvironment in mycosis fungoides and Sézary Syndrome

Zhaorui Liu, Xuesong Wu, Sam T. Hwang, Jie Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sézary syndrome (SS) are the most common subtypes of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCLs). Most cases of MF display an indolent course during its early stage. However, in some patients, it can progress to the tumor stage with potential systematic involvement and a poor prognosis. SS is defined as an erythrodermic CTCL with leukemic involvements. The pathogenesis of MF and SS is still not fully understood, but recent data have found that the development of MF and SS is related to genetic alterations and possibly to environmental influences. In CTCL, many components interacting with tumor cells, such as tumor-associated macrophages, fibroblasts, dendritic cells, mast cells, and myeloid‐derived suppressor cells, as well as with chemokines, cytokines and other key players, establish the tumor microenvironment (TME). In turn, the TME regulates tumor cell migration and proliferation directly and indirectly and may play a critical role in the progression of MF and SS. The TME of MF and SS appear to show features of a Th2 phenotype, thus dampening tumor-related immune responses. Recently, several studies have been published on the immunological characteristics of MF and SS, but a full understanding of the CTCL-related TME remains to be determined. This review focuses on the role of the TME in MF and SS, aiming to further demonstrate the pathogenesis of the disease and to provide new ideas for potential treatments targeted at the microenvironment components of the tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-496
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Mycosis fungiodes
  • Sezary syndrome
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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