MYCOSIS FUNGOIDES is the most common form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), which is in turn the most common adult non-Hodgkin T-cell lymphoma. This group of malignancies all involve infiltration of the skin by transformed T cells. When the correct diagnosis is made in stage IA disease, several treatments are available, each of which may arrest the progression of this disease. These treatments include potent topical steroids, various types of phototherapy, topical chemotherapy, and total-skin electron beam therapy. Regardless of treatment modality, the survival of patients with stage IA disease is comparable with that of age-matched controls. However, when the diagnosis is made in later stages (eg, higher than stage II), long-term survival is compromised. Current treatments for CTCL are effective primarily when disease is limited to the skin; therapies for disease that involves the lymph nodes, peripheral blood, and other organs is largely palliative. Chemotherapy for advanced disease has been disappointing. Thus, new agents that show promise in treating CTCL are welcome. Rexinoids (ligands selective for the retinoid X receptor [RXR]) are an agent highlighted by a phase 2 and 3 clinical trial of bexarotene by Duvic and colleagues1 in this issue of the ARCHIVES.
Cheng SX, Kupper T. A New Rexinoid for Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma. Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(5):649-652. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-137-5-ded00002