Learn about mycosis fungoides-type cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (MF-CTCL)

What is MF-CTCL?

MF-CTCL is a type of lymphoma, which is the most common form of blood cancer. Lymphoma occurs when the white blood cells that fight infection multiply abnormally.2

There are 2 main types of white blood cells that can develop into lymphomas: B cells, which normally help protect the body against germs; and T cells, which kill virus-infected cells. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a general term for T-cell lymphomas primarily of the skin but also of the blood, lymph nodes, and certain internal organs.2,3

Mycosis fungoides (MF) is the most common type of CTCL. There are approximately 20,000 cases in the United States.2

Skin symptoms of MF-CTCL: Stage IA and IB

Most patients with MF-CTCL experience skin symptoms, but the appearance of the affected areas can vary widely2,4:

  • Patches (flat, possibly scaly, rash-like lesions)
  • Plaques (thicker, raised lesions)
  • Stage I MF-CTCL has 2 types:
    • Stage IA: patches and/or plaques on up to 10% of the skin
    • Stage IB: patches and/or plaques on over 10% of the skin

In addition to reviewing your medical history and completing a physical exam, your doctor may perform a skin biopsy to confirm your diagnosis. Also, your doctor may examine your lymph nodes, order blood tests, and conduct other screenings, such as a chest x-ray or a computed axial tomography (CAT) scan.2

For most patients with Stage IA or IB MF-CTCL, the disease may progress slowly, if at all; however, some patients may progress rapidly to later-stage disease.5


VALCHLOR® (mechlorethamine) gel is for use on skin only. Do not get VALCHLOR near or in your eyes, mouth, or nose as it can cause pain, redness, swelling, burning, and ulcers. It can also cause sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and may also cause blindness or permanent eye injury. If VALCHLOR gets in your eyes, rinse your eyes right away for at least 15 minutes with a large amount of water, normal saline, or an eyewash solution. If it gets in your nose or mouth, rinse the affected area right away for at least 15 minutes with a large amount of water. Get medical help right away.

Do not use VALCHLOR if you are severely allergic to mechlorethamine. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had an allergic reaction to mechlorethamine.

Before using VALCHLOR, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions. In addition, if you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or breastfeeding:

VALCHLOR is flammable. Avoid fire, flame, and smoking until VALCHLOR has dried.


Risk of secondary exposure to VALCHLOR for caregivers who accidentally come into contact with VALCHLOR may include risk of skin inflammation (dermatitis); injury to eyes, mouth, or nose; and certain types of cancer. If accidental contact occurs, wash the affected area with soap and water right away for at least 15 minutes and remove any contaminated clothing. Get medical help right away if VALCHLOR gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Skin inflammation (dermatitis) is common with VALCHLOR and may sometimes be severe. Risk for dermatitis is increased if VALCHLOR is applied to your face, genital area, anus, or skin folds. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop skin reactions such as redness, swelling, itching, blisters, ulcers, and skin infections.

Increased risk of certain types of skin cancers. Certain types of skin cancer can develop on treated and non-treated areas with VALCHLOR. Your healthcare provider will check your skin for skin cancers during and after treatment. Tell your healthcare provider if you get any new skin lesions.

Most common side effects include redness, swelling, itching, skin ulcers or blisters, skin infection, and darkening of areas of your skin.

These are not all the possible side effects of VALCHLOR. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Keep VALCHLOR and all medicines out of the reach of children.


When applying VALCHLOR, caregivers must wear disposable nitrile gloves, which should be safely thrown away in the household trash. Wash hands with soap and water after touching or applying VALCHLOR. Apply right away or within 30 minutes once taken out of the refrigerator. Refrigerate VALCHLOR right after each use. Apply a thin layer to completely dry skin at least 4 hours before or 30 minutes after showering or washing. Let treated area dry for 5 to 10 minutes after applying VALCHLOR before covering with clothing. Moisturizers may be applied to the treated areas 2 hours before or 2 hours after applying VALCHLOR. Do not use airtight or watertight bandages on areas treated with VALCHLOR.

Please see full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for VALCHLOR.