Exfracorporeal Photochemotherapy in the Treatment of Cutaneous T‐Cell Lymphoma: Complexity of Objective Evaluation

Margaret A. Oziemski*, Steven P. Rockman, David I. Marks, Michael D. Green, George A. Varigos, Richard M. Fox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: The term cutaneous T‐cell lymphoma (CTCL) encompasses the spectrum of diseases characterized by a monoclonal proliferation of malignant T lymphocytes predominantly of the mature T‐helper cell type. These include mycosis fungoides, which is usually localized to the skin for many years, and the Sezary syndrome, the leukemic variant in which characteristic, bizzare lymphatic cells with deeply indented or cerebriform nuclei, the Sezary cells, infiltrate lymph glands and internal organs such as the spleen, liver, lungs, heart, and bone marrow. The condition is more common in men after their fourth decade. The treatment of CTCL varies depending on the stage of the disease. The skin of the patient is the primary index of effectiveness of therapy. Options range from topical steroids, topical nitrogen mustard, X‐irradiation, electron beam irradiation, and 8–methoxypsoralen (8–MOP) combined with ultraviolet A photochemotherapy (PUVA), to leukapheresis and systemic chemotherapy. More recently, extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECPC) has been introduced. The safety and efficacy of this modality is further investigated in six patients who fullfilled the criteria of diagnosis of CTCL. The problems encountered in objectively evaluating the clincal responses in the patients are outlined and improvements in the protocol to overcome these are suggested. The proposed mechanism of action is an immunostimulatory one and a procedure that is relatively free from side effects; it offers promise as a potential treatment for a difficult cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-817
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Dermatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes


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