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Rudolf Stadler, MD


Optimal Combination With PUVA: Rationale and Clinical Trial Update

February 01, 2007

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is relatively benign in its early stages, but survival rates decrease dramatically as the disease progresses. As no curative therapies are currently available, the goal of therapy is preventing or delaying progression from early disease stages while minimizing long-term toxicity. No single agent, including psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA), can control disease progression fully, so combination therapy is needed to improve response rates. In addition, low-dose combination therapy may improve treatment safety and tolerability. A combination of PUVA and interferon (IFN)α in early disease has been shown to be effective and well tolerated. Likewise, small studies of PUVA and bexarotene (Targretin) indicate good efficacy for this combination. Reduced doses of these combinations may also be effective as maintenance therapies following complete remission. Other treatment combinations shown to be effective in early disease stages include bexarotene with IFNα, and bexarotene with denileukin diftitox (Ontak). In advanced stages of CTCL, liposomal-encapsulated doxorubicin or extracorporeal photopheresis may be combined with bexarotene or IFNα.