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Br J Dermatol. 2006 Aug;155(2):261-6.

Minimizing adverse side-effects of oral bexarotene in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma: an expert opinion.

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Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Skin Cancer Center Charité, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Schumannstrasse 20/21, 10117 Berlin, Germany.


Bexarotene is an oral retinoid therapy that is effective for the treatment of early and advanced-stage cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) in patients who have failed on other therapies. However, bexarotene treatment is associated with unavoidable side-effects, in particular hypertriglyceridaemia and hypothyroidism, which are manageable with adequate concomitant medications and are reversible on cessation of treatment. A pragmatic strategy for minimizing bexarotene-associated hypertriglyceridaemia and hypothyroidism is suggested, based on data from the studies with bexarotene in CTCL and on day-to-day experience with this agent in the clinical setting. The strategy anticipates that these common adverse events are likely to occur and recommends the early use of preventive therapy to lower triglycerides and elevate thyroid hormone levels in the blood, followed by subsequent monitoring, dose adjustment during bexarotene treatment, and titration of the daily bexarotene dose from 150 to 300 mg m(-2), which is optimal for most patients. When further information becomes available on how bexarotene interacts with lipid metabolism and thyroid function, the management approach suggested here may need to be changed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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