The Stanford University experience with conventional-dose, total skin electron-beam therapy in the treatment of generalized patch or plaque (T2) and tumor (T3) mycosis fungoides

Arch Dermatol. 2011 May;147(5):561-7. doi: 10.1001/archdermatol.2011.98.


Objective: To review the Stanford University experience with total skin electron-beam therapy (TSEBT) of 30 Gy or greater as monotherapy in patients with mycosis fungoides (MF) and compare with subgroups receiving adjuvant nitrogen mustard (HN2), and further update our experience with repeated courses of TSEBT.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Academic referral center, multidisciplinary clinic.

Patients: A total of 180 patients with MF treated from 1970 through 2007 with T2 MF (103 with generalized patch or plaque disease) or T3 MF (77 with tumor disease). Patients with extracutaneous disease were excluded.

Interventions: Total skin electron-beam therapy with or without adjuvant topical HN2.

Main outcome measure: Clinical response rate, freedom from relapse (FFR), overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS) after TSEBT.

Results: The overall response rate (ORR) was 100%; 60% of patients achieved a complete clinical response (patients with T2 MF = 75%, those with T3 MF = 47%). The 5- and 10-year OS rates of the entire cohort were 59% and 40%, respectively. There were no significant differences in FFR (P = .30 for T2 disease; P = .50 for T3 disease), PFS (P = .10 for T2 disease; P = .40 for T3 disease), or OS (P = .30 for T2 disease; P = .50 for T3 disease) between adjuvant HN2 and TSEBT monotherapy cohorts. The ORR was 100% in patients receiving a second course of TSEBT with median FFR of 6 months.

Conclusions: A TSEBT of 30 Gy or greater is highly effective in treating T2-T3 MF, with better outcomes in T2 disease. There was no clinical advantage to adjuvant HN2 as used in our cohort. Second courses of TSEBT are safe and efficacious and provide clinically meaningful palliation for select patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / therapeutic use
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mechlorethamine / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycosis Fungoides / drug therapy
  • Mycosis Fungoides / pathology
  • Mycosis Fungoides / radiotherapy*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, High-Energy
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Mechlorethamine