Pilot study of etanercept in patients with relapsed cutaneous T-cell lymphomas

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 Aug;51(2):200-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2003.05.009.


Background: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

Objective: To assess the toxicity, safety, and efficacy of etanercept (soluble TNF receptor) in patients with relapsed CTCL.

Methods: Etanercept was administered twice weekly at a dose of 25 mg subcutaneously. Patients with improvement after two months could be continued on treatment.

Results: Twelve out of the 13 patients enrolled on study were evaluable (Stage I-IIA, 3 patients; Stage IIB-IV disease, 9 patients). The median number of previous therapies was 7 (range, 3-12). Etanercept induced partial remission in one patient (8%) and minor response in one patient (8%), both of whom had Stage IB disease. Most patients experienced no side effects.

Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that etanercept is safe and generally well tolerated in patients with CTCL. The effect of etanercept in a larger cohort of patients with early disease merits investigation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Etanercept
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / administration & dosage*
  • Immunoglobulin G / adverse effects
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pilot Projects
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / administration & dosage*
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Etanercept