Photopheresis therapy for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

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Background: Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a chronic peripheral lymphoma in which aggressive combined therapy elicits high response rates but does not improve survival. Photopheresis therapy has reportedly induced remissions and prolonged survival in patients with advanced disease. Objective: We studied all patients who began photopheresis treatment between February 1988 and July 1994 to determine whether we could confirm the remission rates of previous studies, to evaluate variables that might predict a response, and to discover whether an accelerated delivery system would improve the remission rate or response time. Methods: After an oral dose of methoxsalen was administered, a leukocyte-enhanced quantity of blood was exposed to UVA radiation for 1.5 hours and returned to the patient. With our accelerated system, 6 x 109 cells were irradiated in nine cycles. Treatments were given on 2 consecutive days once a month. Results: Among 34 patients whose results could be evaluated, the overall response rate (complete and partial remissions) was 50%; most patients had mild side effects. All responders except one had erythroderma. Responders had a decrease of 75% in mean skin scores, whereas nonresponders had an increase of 21%. Conclusion: Photopheresis appears to be effective for selected patients with erythrodermic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, although we did not achieve as high a remission rate as previously reported by others.




Duvic, M., Hester, J. P., & Lemak, N. A. (1996). Photopheresis therapy for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 35(4), 573–579.

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