Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Skin: epitheliotropic lymphoma

Synonym(s): Cutaneous lymphosarcoma lymphoma; epitheliotropic lymphosarcoma; Mycosis fungoides

Contributor(s): Isabelle Desmas-Bazelle, David Scarff


  • Cutaneous lymphoma can be dermal or epidermal (epitheliotropic). Canine cutaneous epitheliotropic lymphoma is more common.
  • Uncommon (less than 10% of all canine lymphomas), malignant lymphoid proliferations in the epidermis.
  • Arises from T cell lymphocytes with a specific tropism for the epidermis and the adnexal structures (hair follicles, sebaceous and apocrine sweat glands).
  • Signs: early stages may appear inflammatory, plaque-like or alopecic.
  • Later stages, nodular, sometimes oral or mucocutaneous junctions involvement.
  • Diagnosis: histopathology.
  • Treatment: chemotherapy. Solitary lesions are rare and can be treated with local therapy.
  • Prognosis: guarded.



  • Unknown.
  • Chronic inflammatory skin disease (eg atopic dermatitis Skin: atopy ) has been postulated as being a causative factor.


  • Weeks to months.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Berlato D, Schrempp D, Van Den Steen N, Murphy S (2012) Radiotherapy in the management of localized mucocutaneous oral lymphoma in dogs: 14 cases. Vet Comp Oncol 10 (1), 16-23 PubMed.
  • Fontaine J, Bovens C, Bettenay S, Mueller R S (2009) Canine cutaneous epitheliotrpic T-cell lymphoma: a review. Vet Comp Oncol (1), 1-14 PubMed.
  • Fontaine J, Heimann M, Day M J (2009) Canine epitheliotropic T-cell lymphoma: a review of 30 cases. Vet Dermatol 21 (3), 267-275 PubMed.
  • Tzannes S, Ibarrola P, Batchelor D J, Burrow R, Blackwood L (2008) Use of recombinant human interferon Alpha-2a in the management of a dog with epitheliotropic lymphoma. JAAHA 44 (5), 276-282 PubMed.
  • Santoro D, Marsella R & Hernandez J (2007) Investigation on the association between atopic dermatitis and the development of mycosis fungoides in dogs: a retrospective case-control study. Vet Dermatol 18 (2), 101-106 PubMed.
  • Risbon R E et al (2006) Response of canine cutaneous epitheliotropic lymphoma to lomustine (CCNU): a retrospective study of 46 cases (1999-2004). JVIM 20 (6), 1389-1397 PubMed.
  • Williams L E et al (2006) CCNU in the treatment of canine epitheliotropic lymphoma. JVIM 20 (1), 136-143 PubMed.
  • Fournel-Fleury C et al (2002) Canine T-cell lymphomas: a morphological, immunological, and clinical study of 46 new cases. Vet Pathol 39 (1), 92-109 PubMed.
  • Haghighi B, Smoller B R et al (2000) Pagetoid reticulosis (Woringer-Kolopp disease): an immunophenotypic, molecular, and clinicopathologic study. Mod Pathol 13 (5), 502-510 PubMed.
  • Moore P F, Olivry T & Naydan D (1994) Canine cutaneous epitheliotropic lymphoma (mycosis fungoides) is a proliferative disorder of CD8+ T cells. Am J Pathol 144 (2), 421-429 PubMed.
  • White S D et al (1993) Use of isoretinoin and etretinate for the treatment of benign cutaneous neoplasia and cutaneous lymphoma in dogs. JAVMA 202 (3), 387-391 PubMed.
  • Iwamoto K S et al (1992) Linoleate produces remission in canine mycosis fungoides. Cancer Lett 64 (1), 7-22 PubMed.