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March 1995

Treatment of Advanced Mycosis Fungoides and Sézary Syndrome With Continuous Infusions of Methotrexate Followed by Fluorouracil and Leucovorin Rescue

Author Affiliations

From the Brown University Dermatology Residency Program, Roger Williams Medical Center (Dr Schappell), and the Department of Dermatology, Brown University (Drs Alper and McDonald), Providence, RI.

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(3):307-313. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690150071014

Background and Design:  The treatment of advanced mycosis fungoides is a therapeutic challenge. A variety of treatment approaches have been used. In our experience, chemotherapy has been most useful. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the synergy previously demonstrated between methotrexate and fluorouracil in the treatment of advanced mycosis fungoides. Ten patients with mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome stages Ha (n=1), II-b (n=4), III (n=1), IVa (n=2), and IVb (n=2) were treated with sequential methotrexate followed by fluorouracil and leucovorin rescue. Each patient received several courses of chemotherapy at varying intervals, as required for control of their disease.

Results:  The duration of treatment ranged from 3 to 78 months, with an average duration of 33 months. The number of cycles of chemotherapy administered to each patient ranged from five to 45, with an average of 18 infusions per patient. The average survival in patients with tumors was 5.25 years, with a median survival of 6 years. Eight of 10 patients achieved at least 80% clearing and the remaining two achieved at least 60% clearing. Adverse reactions were minimal and included nausea and vomiting, mucositis, and leukopenia in only one patient.

Conclusion:  Sequential methotrexate and fluorouracil chemotherapy is an effective and safe treatment for advanced mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome. This regimen is extremely well tolerated, with minimal toxic side effects.(Arch Dermatol. 1995;131:307-313)