Over the past years, a greater understanding of the biology and molecular mechanisms underlying cutaneous lymphomas, a heterogeneous group of malignancies that primarily affect skin-homing lymphocytes, has been key for advances in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of the diseases. These developments were featured in this year’s European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)-Cutaneous Lymphoma Tumors Group (CLTG) Annual Meeting, which took place from 22 to 24 September 2022 in Madrid, Spain. As a major event for the scientific community, the conference brought together renowned international experts, including dermatologists, basic scientists, epidemiologists, hematologists, immunologists and oncologists.

“Cutaneous lymphomas: from molecules to patient-reported outcomes (PROs)” was the theme of this meeting, which offered a great opportunity to discuss the latest progress and current challenges in patient care, share experiences and address new directions in this clinical setting. The high-quality scientific program highlighted a broad spectrum of topics in cutaneous lymphomas, including sessions covering aspects such as biology and histopathology, as well as translational research, and diagnostic and prognostic markers.

In a guest lecture, Prof. Manuel Serrano from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), Barcelona, talked about cellular senescence and its importance in cancer therapy. Another guest speaker, Prof. Miguel Angel Piris from the Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid discussed the critical tools and goals in the diagnosis of cutaneous lymphoma. In addition, eagerly awaited updates from PROCLIPI (PROspective Cutaneous Lymphoma International Prognostic Index) study were presented, assessing prognostic factors in mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome, two types of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.1,2 Important results were also reported on current and emerging therapeutic strategies, including mogamulizumab, chlormethine gel, pegylated interferon alpha, lacutamab, brentuximab vedotin and polatuzumab vedotin, alongside others.

The conference also focused on quality of life (QoL) and PROs measures, which emerged as key endpoints in several oncology clinical trials.3–5 For example, updates were presented on the development of EORTC/Cutaneous Lymphomas Task Force (CLTF) questionnaires to assess health-related QoL in primary cutaneous T-cell and B-cell lymphomas. There was also a special symposium dedicated to patients in partnership with the newly established Spanish Association of Cutaneous Lymphoma Patients.

Despite our steadily increasing knowledge of the pathogenesis of cutaneous lymphoma, many aspects are still not fully understood, fostering further basic and translational research projects to optimize patient management. In fact, the recent developments in molecular characterization of the disease resulted in the identification of novel biomarkers that can serve as a potential diagnostic tool and likely present druggable targets for novel therapy. However, there is still a lack of prognostic markers that could help us predict disease progression and overall survival. Although some patients can achieve long-term remission with therapy, cutaneous lymphomas remain uncurable diseases, with a slowly expanding treatment armamentarium for advanced stage.6,7 Immunotherapy and targeted therapy have been extensively investigated over the last years. Immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown some promising results in early phase trials in this patient population,8 whereas the CC chemokine receptor type 4 (CCR4)-directed monoclonal antibody, mogamulizumab has already received regulatory approval for relapsed or refractory disease.9

Prof. Dr Emmanuella Guenova