Skin cancer in patients with non-Hodgkins lymphoma

Jerry D. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


There has been a well-documented association between non-Hodgkins lymphoma, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and melanoma as well as non-melanoma skin cancers. In addition, there have been multiple reports documenting aggressive skin cancers in the setting of lymphoma. This article highlights the existing data in regards to the association between non-Hodgkins lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia and the common forms of skin cancer. Patients with non-Hodgkins lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia who subsequently develop non-melanoma skin cancer have worse outcomes demonstrated by increased rates of local recurrence, regional metastasis and death. Similarly, patients with non-Hodgkins lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia who subsequently develop melanoma have demonstrated trends towards worse outcomes, including a possible increased risk towards recurrence, metastasis and melanoma-specific mortality. Common forms of skin cancer may share genetic aberrations with lymphoma, which may be one of the reasons behind the causal relationship that has been documented between these two forms of malignancy. These commonly shared genetic aberrations may also contribute to the increased aggressiveness seen in lymphoma-associated skin cancer. Patients who have lymphoma-associated skin cancer should undergo aggressive treatment approaches to decrease the chances of recurrence and skin cancer-associated morbidity and mortality. Preventive strategies, such as early detection, sun-protective behavior, frequent dermatologic examinations and education directed toward the patient with lymphoma, may not only prevent the development of aggressive skin cancer, but also have a higher rate of successfully treating early forms of skin cancer in this high-risk patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-533
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010


  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • basal cell carcinoma
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • epidemiology
  • genetics
  • malignant melanoma
  • non-Hodgkins lymphoma
  • prognosis
  • skin cancer
  • squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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