The treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma with a novel retinoid

Clin Lymphoma. 2000 Nov:1 Suppl 1:S45-9. doi: 10.3816/clm.2000.s.009.


The clinical experience with bexarotene for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) at our center is reviewed here. Disease activity assessment was monitored every 4 weeks in all patients. Five target lesions were monitored, an area score was performed, and a CTCL-specific health assessment questionnaire was administered. Four patients with refractory plaque CTCL were treated with bexarotene gel. All target lesions disappeared after 8 weeks of therapy, with recurrences observed in untreated areas. In the follow-up period, no recurrences of the original target lesions were observed. One patient withdrew from the study. Patients with refractory patch/plaque disease were randomized to a high-dose (300 mg/m(2)) or low-dose (6.5 mg/m(2)) daily oral regimen of bexarotene. After showing disease progression, the two patients on the low-dose arm were entered into the high-dose arm after 8 weeks. Marked clinical responses were seen in all patients treated. The target lesions showed either complete disappearance or a reduction in lesion size, duration, and scale. No new lesions were noted in patients on high-dose bexarotene. Self-assessments also confirmed the palliative properties of the observed responses. All patients had hypertriglyceridemia despite the concomitant administration of atorvastatin at 60 mg/day. Dose reductions were required to maintain safe lipid levels. Four patients with erythrodermic CTCL were treated with high-dose oral therapy, and all patients showed rapid (within 2 weeks) improvement of erythroderma and symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bexarotene
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes / therapeutic use*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes
  • Bexarotene