Medline: 10192339

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 43(5): 951-958, 1999.

Total skin electron beam therapy with or without adjuvant topical nitrogen mustard or nitrogen mustard alone as initial treatment of T2 and T3 mycosis fungoides.

Chinn DM, Chow S, Kim YH, et al.


To compare the efficacy of total skin electron beam therapy (TSEBT) with or without adjuvant topical nitrogen mustard (+/- HN2) with topical nitrogen mustard (HN2) alone as initial management of T2 and T3 mycosis fungoides (MF).

AND MATERIALS: A retrospective analysis of 148 patients presenting to Stanford from January, 1970 through January, 1995 within 4 months of pathologic diagnosis of MF. Fifty-five patients with T2 and 27 with T3 disease received TSEBT +/- HN2. Fifty-four patients with T2 and 12 with T3 disease received HN2 alone. Boosts with radiotherapy were usually administered to cutaneous tumors of patients with T3 disease.

TSEBT +/- HN2 yielded significantly higher complete response (CR) rates than did HN2 alone in patients with T2 and T3 disease (76% vs 39%, p = 0.03 for T2, and 44% vs 8%, p < 0.05 for T3, respectively). In T2 disease, treatment with adjuvant HN2 was associated with a longer freedom from relapse following TSEBT when compared to observation following a CR to TSEBT (p = 0.068). However, no significant differences in survival were observed for different management programs for T2 or T3 disease. In T2 disease, both TSEBT and HN2 were as effective as salvage therapy as when utilized as initial therapy. However, salvage therapy in T3 disease was rarely effective. Limited tumor involvement in T3 disease did not correlate with improved survival compared to more generalized tumorous disease. MF contributed to 27% and 68% of deaths in patients with T2 and T3 disease, respectively.

Because of high response rates, management of significantly symptomatic or extensive T2 MF should include TSEBT, and adjuvant HN2 should be administered after a CR to TSEBT. Patients with T2 disease who fail TSEBT or HN2 can be salvaged with the other modality. TSEBT is also an effective treatment for T3 disease. The small subset of patients with limited T3 disease may also be treated with HN2 and local radiotherapy to the tumors. Further investigations are necessary to improve the overall outcome for T3 mycosis fungoides.

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Dr. G. Quade