Send to

Choose Destination
Blood. 2015 Sep 17;126(12):1452-61. doi: 10.1182/blood-2015-02-630335. Epub 2015 Jul 30.

Topical resiquimod can induce disease regression and enhance T-cell effector functions in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

Author information

Department of Dermatology and the Center for Clinical Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland; Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland;
Department of Dermatology, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA;
Adaptive Biotechnologies, Seattle, WA; and.
Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Boston, MA.

Erratum in

  • Blood. 2015 Dec 17;126(25):2765. Gelfand, Joel C [corrected to Gelfand, Joel M].


Early-stage cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a skin-limited lymphoma with no cure aside from stem cell transplantation. Twelve patients with stage IA-IIA CTCL were treated in a phase 1 trial of 0.03% and 0.06% topical resiquimod gel, a Toll-like receptor 7/8 agonist. Treated lesions significantly improved in 75% of patients and 30% had clearing of all treated lesions. Resiquimod also induced regression of untreated lesions. Ninety-two percent of patients had more than a 50% improvement in body surface area involvement by the modified Severity-Weighted Assessment Tool analysis and 2 patients experienced complete clearing of disease. Four of 5 patients with folliculotropic disease also improved significantly. Adverse effects were minor and largely skin limited. T-cell receptor sequencing and flow cytometry studies of T cells from treated lesions demonstrated decreased clonal malignant T cells in 90% of patients and complete eradication of malignant T cells in 30%. High responses were associated with recruitment and expansion of benign T-cell clones in treated skin, increased skin T-cell effector functions, and a trend toward increased natural killer cell functions. In patients with complete or near eradication of malignant T cells, residual clinical inflammation was associated with cytokine production by benign T cells. Fifty percent of patients had increased activation of circulating dendritic cells, consistent with a systemic response to therapy. In summary, topical resiquimod is safe and effective in early-stage CTCL and the first topical therapy to our knowledge that can induce clearance of untreated lesions and complete remissions in some patients. This trial was registered at as #NCT813320.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center