Research ArticleCancer

TCR sequencing facilitates diagnosis and identifies mature T cells as the cell of origin in CTCL

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Science Translational Medicine  07 Oct 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 308, pp. 308ra158
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa9122

Discriminating taste for CTCL

Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a potentially debilitating disease, but early stages resemble rashes of less dangerous inflammatory skin diseases. Now, Kirsch et al. report that high-throughput TCR sequencing (HTS) can be used to distinguish CTCL from benign inflammatory disease by identifying T cell clones. This diagnostic was more sensitive and specific than the current standard of care and was also able to determine therapeutic response and identify early recurrence. The authors then used HTS to gain insight into CTCL pathogenesis, reporting that the malignancy derived from mature T cells that may have a specialized niche in the skin.