What Are Some Treatments of Mycosis Fungoides?


Quick Answer

Treatment for mycosis fungoides include topical chemotherapy, topical retinoids, topical corticosteroids and PUVA therapy, according to Stanford Medicine. Other treatments include electron beam radiation, oral retinoids, interferon alpha and fusion proteins. Mycosis fungoides is a common type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that causes patches and tumors on the skin, states the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

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Full Answer

Mechlorethamine is used more often than any other type of topical chemotherapy, it is applied on the skin around twice a day. Topical retinoids work by altering the mycosis fungoides cells. PUVA uses a combination of ultraviolet light therapy and a plant product known as psoralen. The psoralen is taken orally 90 minutes prior to light therapy, says Stanford Medicine. PUVA is a common first-line treatment for skin lesions.

Electron beam radiation is a radiation therapy that treats the whole skin. It is efficient for treating plaque, patches and skin tumors caused by mycosis fungoides. Bexarotene is a medication that also comes as an oral retinoid. Oral retinoids are administered to treat tumorous skin lesions and plaque that are occurring over the whole body. Due to the severe side effects oral retinoids cause, patients taking them are closely monitored, states Stanford Medicine.

Interferon alpha changes the body's response of the immune system. It is usually used in combination with other treatments for mycosis fungoides. Fusion proteins, such as Ontak, destroy specific lymphocytes in the body, according to Stanford Medicine.

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