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Acta Derm Venereol. 2007;87(5):413-7.

Narrowband UVB and PUVA in the treatment of mycosis fungoides: a retrospective study.

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City of Dublin Skin & Cancer Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) is widely used as first-line therapy for treatment of mycosis fungoides. Narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) has also been shown to be effective for treatment of early mycosis fungoides. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyse the response to treatment and relapse-free interval for PUVA and NB-UVB therapies in mycosis fungoides. Forty patients were treated with PUVA or NB-UVB between 1980 and 2003. All patients had failed to respond to topical therapy or were unwilling to use it. PUVA therapy was used between 1980 and 1997. Thereafter, the choice between PUVA (twice a week) and NB-UVB therapy (three times a week) depended on stage and extent of the disease as well as on how far patients had to travel). Twelve patients (stage IA-IIB) were treated with NB-UVB and 28 patients (stage IA-IVA) with PUVA. No maintenance therapy was given. Six patients (50%) had a complete response, 4 (33%) had a partial response and 2 (16%) had a failed response to NB-UVB but had stable disease. PUVA led to a complete response in 18 (64%), a partial response in 6 (21%) and a failed response in 4 (14%) patients. The median relapse-free interval was 11.5 months in the NB-UVB treated group and 10 months in the PUVA group. The majority of the patients (79%) had stage IA and IB disease. Of these, 6 of 10 (60%) in the NB-UVB group and 13/21 (62%) in the PUVA group had a complete response to treatment. These results show that PUVA and NB-UVB are effective treatments for early mycosis fungoides.

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