INTRAMUSCULAR LOW DOSE ALPHA-2B INTERFERON AND ETRETINATE FOR TREATMENT OF MYCOSIS FUNGOIDES

Authors


Address for correspondence: Professor Gianfranco Altomare, 2nd Department of Dermatology, Via Pace, 9, 20122 – Milano, Italy.

Abstract

Background. Mycosis fungoides is a lymphoma of cutaneous origin characterized by a proliferation of cells with a T phenotype.

Methods. In this pilot study, 13 men with mycosis fungoides in various stages were treated with alpha-2b interferon and etretinate.

Results. In ten of them, such a therapy proved to be effective (7 complete responses, 3 partial responses), sometimes with prolonged remissions (up to 20 months, and still persistent) after suspension of the drugs.

Conclusions. We chose low-dose interferon administration in order to prevent side effects, which are said to be dose-dependent. In our experience this is not true, but this drawback seems to be overcome by the very good, sometimes spectacular, response to this combination therapy, particularly in low stage forms of the disease. This fact, compared with results provided by other groups, prompts us to plan new research protocols based on associations of retinoids with different interferon types (or even associations of different interferons), because we believe they will have an important place in treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in future.

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