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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1992 Nov;27(5 Pt 1):729-36.

Extracorporeal photopheresis for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

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  • 1Division of Dermatology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232.



Many regimens are used for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), but with advanced disease response rates and patient survival are not adequate with any current therapy. Recently extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECP) was proposed as an alternative therapy.


Our purpose is to present the results of ECP in patients with CTCL refractory to other treatments.


Patients with CTCL received ECP at 3- to 5-week intervals for at least 6 months. All patients except one were in stage T2 (patch/plaque) or higher. Eight patients had extracutaneous disease involving lymph nodes (six patients), bone marrow (five), or S├ęzary cells (six). The interval between initial symptoms and diagnosis was 5.9 +/- 1.9 years (mean +/- standard error of the mean) and the interval between diagnosis and ECP was 2.2 +/- 0.4 years.


A complete response (disappearance of all lesions) was obtained in five patients (25%) and a partial response (disappearance of at least 50% of lesions) in six patients (30%). Four patients (20%) showed stabilization of their disease and five progressed (25%). The only variable that predicted responders versus nonresponders was the number of ECP sessions (p < 0.05 by multivariate logistic regression). In contrast, no separate beneficial effect of adjunctive chemotherapy (p > 0.5) or electron beam therapy (p > 0.1) was found.


Long-term ECP may be an effective alternative treatment for CTCL refractory to other therapies and is likely to be even more useful when combined with other modalities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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