Background: Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) may respond to many therapies, but long-term disease-free survival is uncommon. Patients with advanced disease have a median survival of approximately 3 years.
Objective: Our purpose was to combine known effective agents sequentially to determine whether we could achieve remission in more patients or for longer duration.
Methods: Patients with mycosis fungoides (n = 23) or Sézary syndrome (n = 5) were treated with 4 months of recombinant interferon alfa together with isotretinoin, followed by total skin electron beam therapy alone (for stage I to II disease) or preceded by chemotherapy (for stage III to IV disease). Maintenance therapy consisted of interferon for 1 year and topical nitrogen mustard for 2 years.
Results: Twenty-eight patients were treated. The overall response rate (complete and partial remissions) was 82%. Although the median duration of remission was 5 months in patients with stage III to IV disease, two patients remain in complete remission at 39 + and 46 + months. In patients with stage I to II disease the median duration of remission has not been reached at a median follow-up of 18 months. Five patients, all with stage III to IV disease, have died. Overall, the regimen was well tolerated with one treatment-related death from neutropenic sepsis.
Conclusion: Combined modality therapy may be effective for the treatment of CTCL with similar response rates to other current therapies.