Narrow-band ultraviolet B phototherapy for mycosis fungoides in children

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Abstract

Background.

Mycosis fungoides (MF), the commonest form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, is uncommon in childhood. Phototherapy is a common treatment for MF.

Aim.

To retrospectively evaluate the efficacy and safety of narrow band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) phototherapy for the treatment of MF n children.

Methods.

We performed a retrospective analysis of children of East Asian descent with a clinical and histological diagnosis of MF, who were treated with NB-UVB phototherapy at the National Skin Centre, Singapore over the 5-year period 2004–2008.

Results.

We identified nine suitable patients (eight boys, one girl; age range 5–12 years). Mean time from disease onset to diagnosis was 21 months (range 4 months to 3 years). There were two patients with stage 1A disease, six with stage 1B disease and one with stage 2A disease. Body surface area involvement ranged from 10% to 60%, and none of the patients had systemic involvement. Eight patients attained complete response after phototherapy, but only three had sustained remission after a follow-up of 1–3 years. Five patients had recurrence of lesions after an mean of 13.8 months (range 4–36). Treatment was well tolerated.

Conclusion.

Phototherapy using NB-UVB in the treatment of MF is efficacious and safe. We recommend it as first-line treatment in the management of early-stage MF in children.

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