Low-dose methotrexate to treat mycosis fungoides: a retrospective study in 69 patients

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Nov;49(5):873-8. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(03)01591-3.


Background: Although low-dose methotrexate has been used to treat mycosis fungoides for many years, documentation is very limited.

Objective: Our purpose was to review our experience with methotrexate in the treatment of 69 patients with patch/plaque and tumor stage mycosis fungoides observed for up to 201 months.

Methods: This was a retrospective study. Data are presented in terms of response rates and time to treatment failure.

Results: The greatest number of patients (60) had patch/plaque stage T2 disease (>/=10% skin involved). Of these, 7 (12%) achieved complete remission and 13 (22%) achieved partial remission for a total response rate of 20 of 60 (33%). The median time to treatment failure was 15 months. Only 1 of 7 patients with tumor stage disease responded. Side effects caused treatment failure in 6 (9%) of the total cohort of 69 patients.

Conclusion: Low-dose methotrexate may be of value in the treatment of a subset of patients with patch/plaque mycosis fungoides resistant to other therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage*
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage*
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycosis Fungoides / drug therapy*
  • Mycosis Fungoides / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Methotrexate