What’s the Problem?

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer, has been linked to a rare form of skin cancer known as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Lawsuits accuse Monsanto of failing to adequately warn consumers and the medical community about the risk of cancer with Roundup.

Roundup and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is a term used to describe a group of cancers that attack the lymphatic system. NHL includes several different subtypes including cutaneous T-cell, large diffuse B-cell, follicular lymphoma and others. While these cancers have a number of different potential causes, some cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed in recent years have been associated with exposure to glyphosate, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified as a “probable human carcinogen” (cancer-causing substance).

Study Links Glyphosate Exposure to Lymph Tissue Cancers

A review published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in April 2014 confirmed the link between glyphosate exposure and blood cancers of the lymph glands such as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. For the review, researchers looked at 44 studies to see how 80 active ingredients in 21 different chemical classes affected farmers’ risk of contracting the disease. They found that exposure to glyphosate doubled a person’s risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

What is Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma?

Lymphoma occurs when white blood cells in the immune system called lymphocytes multiply and grow out of control. The human body has 2 main types of lymphocytes that can develop into lymphomas: B-lymphocytes (B-cells) and T-lymphocytes (T-cells).

T-cell lymphomas account for about 15% of all cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed in the U.S. One of the most common forms of T-cell lymphoma is cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a general term for T-cell lymphomas that involve the skin. CTCL also can involve the blood, lymph nodes and other internal organs.


Signs and symptoms of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma include:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Rash
  • Pain
  • Dry skin
  • Chronic itchiness
  • Small raised bumps (papules) or hard lesions
  • Tumors on the skin
  • Ulcers
  • Infections

Subtypes of T-Cell Lymphomas

There are many different forms of T-cell lymphomas, some of which are extremely rare. These include:

  • Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma
  • Granulomatous Slack Skin
  • Lymphomatoid Papulosis
  • Mycosis Fungoides
  • Pagetoid Reticulosis (Woringer-Kolopp Disease)
  • Primary Cutaneous Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphomas
  • Sézary syndrome
  • Subcutaneous Panniculitic T-Cell Lymphoma


Regardless of the type, T-Cell lymphomas are most effectively treated when they are confined to one area of the body. However, aggressive lymphomas must be treated quickly because of the speed at which they spread.

Treatment options for patients diagnosed with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma include:

  • Chemotherapy – Drug treatment used to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy – X-rays used to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells.
  • Other medications – Retinoids, corticosteroids, targeted medicine, immunotherapy etc.
  • Photodynamic therapy – Combination of light and chemicals used to kill cancer cells.
  • Extracorporeal photopheresis – Blood is sent through a machine that exposes it to a special ultraviolet (UV) light, which kills lymphoma cells. The blood is then returned to the body.

Roundup Cancer Lawsuits Centralized in California

In September 2016, a panel of federal judges ruled that all lawsuits alleging cancer from Roundup will be centralized in a multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2741) in the Northern District of California before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria. The complaints allege that Monsanto knew for decades that exposure to glyphosate may increase the risk of cancer and other life-threatening complications. However, Despite this knowledge, Monsanto failed to adequately warn of Roundup cancer risks and even sought to deceive the government and consumers about these risks to increase their own profits, according to the lawsuits.

View Sources

FREE Confidential Case Review

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma after using or being exposed to Roundup weed killer, you may be eligible to obtain compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help. Contact a Roundup attorney today for a Free Confidential Case Evaluation by filling out the form below or calling toll free 24/hrs a day by dialing (866) 223-3784.

Attention Lawyers:  Schmidt & Clark, LLP considers a referral from another lawyer to be one of the greatest compliments. Our law firm has built a reputation for success and accepts a number of case referrals on a regular basis. We do not publish prior verdicts or settlements on our website. If you would like to refer us a case or for us to send you a profile of prior award judgments or average referral fees, please fill out the form below.