Research ArticleCancer

High-throughput sequencing of the T cell receptor β gene identifies aggressive early-stage mycosis fungoides

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Science Translational Medicine  09 May 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 440, eaar5894
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar5894

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Predicting progression in a T cell lymphoma

Mycosis fungoides (MF) is an often indolent cutaneous T cell lymphoma identifiable by the T cell receptor gene TCRB in skin biopsies. de Masson et al. performed high-throughput sequencing of MF skin lesions to determine whether the frequency of the most abundant TCRB sequence could predict the fraction of cases that progress to more aggressive disease. This tumor clone frequency (TCF) outperformed commonly used prognostic indicators of disease progression and overall survival in MF, and was particularly useful in early-stage disease. The TCF may thus help identify which MF patients in the same clinical disease stage are in fact more likely to progress to life-threatening disease.