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Blood. 2008 Oct 1;112(7):2667-74. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-03-141481. Epub 2008 Jul 11.

A multicenter prospective phase 2 randomized study of extracorporeal photopheresis for treatment of chronic graft-versus-host disease.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA.

Erratum in

  • Blood. 2009 Apr 30;113(18):4478.


Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a major limitation of successful hematopoietic cell transplantation. The safety and efficacy of extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) for 12 to 24 weeks together with standard therapy was compared with standard therapy alone in patients with cutaneous manifestations of cGVHD that could not be adequately controlled by corticosteroid treatment. The primary efficacy end point was a blinded quantitative comparison of percent change from baseline in Total Skin Score (TSS) of 10 body regions at week 12. Ninety-five patients were randomized to either ECP and standard therapy (n = 48) or standard therapy alone (n = 47). The median percentage improvement in TSS at week 12 was 14.5% for the ECP arm and 8.5% for the control arm (P = .48). The proportion of patients who had at least a 50% reduction in steroid dose and at least a 25% decrease from baseline in TSS was 8.3% in the ECP arm at week 12 and 0% in the control arm (P = .04). The nonblinded investigator assessment of skin complete or partial responses revealed a significant improvement in favor of ECP (P < .001). ECP was generally well tolerated. These results suggest that ECP may have a steroid-sparing effect in the treatment of cGVHD. Clinical trials registered at as NCT00054613.

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