Mycosis fungoides (MF) is the most common type of cutaneous T cell lymphoma.There are notable differences in MF presentation in Skin of Color (SOC) versus White skin, such as asymptomatic hyperpigmented and hypopigmented lesions resulting from malignant T-cell interaction from keratinocytes and melanocytes. Therefore, this work aims at elucidating MF immunopathogenesis and gene expression in SOC patients and determining whether clinical presentation differences are dependent on the cytokine type produced by the tumor. We used both hypopigmented and hyperpigmented MF biopsy samples from SOC patients with MF from Howard University Dermatology and compared their gene expression to that of biopsy samples from SOC healthy patients. Preliminary data showed an upregulation of genes such as PRDX1, HLA-DRA, CTNNB1, CSTB, and S100A4 in MF samples versus their healthy counterparts. The MF samples also exhibited downregulation of CCL3, CCRL2, PDGFB and HOXD4 genes when compared to their healthy counterparts. Lastly, the pathways ‘cell cycle and apoptosis’, ‘antigen presentation’, and ‘interferon signaling’ were increased in MF and decreased in the healthy samples. Overall, these data will elucidate MF gene expression in SOC patients as well as the immunopathogenesis that results in varying presentations. This may facilitate the development of more concise diagnostic criteria and personalized targeted immunotherapies to better health outcomes within a minority population.

Supported by grants from Dermatology Foundation DRSA (SD), the Skin of Color Society Research Grant (JMR), and the American Skin Association Milstein Research Scholar Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (ASB).

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