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Review of extracorporeal photopheresis in early-stage (IA, IB, and IIA) cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

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Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) has been used for nearly 20 years for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). A substantial body of literature reports that this form of photoimmunotherapy improves or stabilizes the course of disease in a subset of patients across all stages. However, current clinical approach usually reserves ECP for patients who do not respond to other treatments or for patients with late-stage disease or S├ęzary syndrome (SS). Methods:

A comprehensive Pubmed/Medline literature search was performed to identify studies reporting the use and efficacy of ECP in early stage (IA, IB, and IIA) CTCL. Information regarding prognostic factors and survival of early-stage patients treated with ECP was also obtained and summarized. Results:

The heterogenous nature of the reports and lack of any prospective randomized trials made evaluation of response to treatment difficult. However, the current literature contains at least 124 early-stage patients treated with ECP or ECP plus adjuvant therapy from 1987–2007 in 16 different reports. Response rates of treatment for this patient population with ECP and ECP plus adjuvant therapy varied from 33–88%. Conclusions:

Given the very low side effect profile of ECP compared with other therapies and its demonstrated efficacy, this treatment modality is possibly beneficial for patients with earlier stages of CTCL. Randomized prospective studies are needed to establish the role of ECP in this disease subset.
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Keywords: CTCL; extracorporeal photopheresis; review

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH, USA,

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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