How I treat mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome.
The most common subtypes of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas are mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sézary syndrome (SS). The majority of patients have indolent disease; and given the incurable nature of MF/SS, management should focus on improving symptoms and cosmesis while limiting toxicity. Management of MF/SS should use a "stage-based" approach; treatment of early-stage disease (IA-IIA) typically involves skin directed therapies that include topical corticosteroids, phototherapy (psoralen plus ultraviolet A radiation or ultraviolet B radiation), topical chemotherapy, topical or systemic bexarotene, and radiotherapy. Systemic approaches are used for recalcitrant early-stage disease, advanced-stage disease (IIB-IV), and transformed disease and include retinoids, such as bexarotene, interferon-alpha, histone deacetylase inhibitors, the fusion toxin denileukin diftitox, systemic chemotherapy including transplantation, and extracorporeal photopheresis. Examples of drugs under active investigation include new histone deacetylase inhibitors, forodesine, monoclonal antibodies, proteasome inhibitors, and immunomodulatory agents, such as lenalidomide. It is appropriate to consider patients for novel agents within clinical trials if they have failed front-line therapy and before chemotherapy is used.