Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Incidence on the Rise

Incidence was 6.4 cases per million people in 1973-2002 in the United States

MONDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is on the rise in the United States, but the reason for this escalation is unknown, according to a report in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Vincent Criscione of the VA Medical Center in Providence, R.I., and a colleague analyzed data from 13 cancer registries from 1973 through 2002 that included 4,783 cutaneous T-cell lymphoma cases that were diagnosed in the United States.

The researchers found that the annual incidence of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma was 6.4 cases per million people and cases increased each decade during the study period. The incidence rate ratio was higher in blacks than whites (incidence rate ratio, 1.5), and higher in men than women (IRR, 1.9). The incidence also varied geographically and was highest in San Francisco and lowest in Iowa.

"The continued rise in incidence of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is substantial, and the cause of this increase is unknown," the authors write. "The racial, ethnic, sex and geographic differences in incidence may be of etiologic importance."

In an accompanying editorial, Stuart Lessin, M.D., of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, notes that "these tantalizing molecular observations can only partially solve the puzzle regarding the etiology and pathogenesis of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma."

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