Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCLs) are non-Hodgkin lymphomas that develop primarily in the skin. They account for almost 80% of primary cutaneous lymphomas. Epidermotropic CTCLs (mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sézary syndrome (SS)) are the most common form of CTCL. The course of the disease ranges from an indolent clinical behavior in early-stage disease to an aggressive evolution in the advanced stages. Advanced-stage disease is defined by the presence of tumors, erythroderma, or significant blood, nodal or visceral involvement. Advanced-stage disease is characterized by frequent disease relapses, refractory disease, a severely impaired quality of life and reduced overall survival. In the last twenty-five years, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has led to prolonged remissions in advanced CTCL, presumably linked to a graft-versus-lymphoma effect and is thus emerging as a potential cure of the disease. However, the high post-transplant relapse rate and severe morbidity and mortality associated with graft-versus-host disease and infections are important issues. Allogeneic HSCT is thus mostly considered in young patients with no comorbidities and an aggressive, advanced-stage CTCL. Allogeneic HSCT gives the best results in patients with a pre-transplant complete remission of the lymphoma. For this reason, one of the challenges is to define the best time to consider allogeneic HSCT in the disease course. Early identification of patients at high risk for progression is important to identify candidates who may benefit from allogeneic HSCT before their disease becomes treatment-refractory. This review describes the role of allogeneic HSCT in CTCL, summarizes the published data and future perspectives in this area.
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