An open trial of climatotherapy at the Dead Sea for patch-stage mycosis fungoides

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Abstract

Background

Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea (CDS) is a well-established therapeutic modality for moderate to severe psoriasis vulgaris, resulting in sustained remissions. It has also been found to be effective for atopic dermatitis, another T-cell–mediated dermatosis.

Objective

We sought to prospectively evaluate the efficacy of CDS in patch-stage mycosis fungoides.

Methods

A total of 12 patients with patch-stage mycosis fungoides (6 with stage IA and 6 with stage IB) were treated with CDS as monotherapy for 28 consecutive days according to the protocol for psoriasis, ie, a gradual increase of sun exposure to a maximum of 3 hours daily.

Results

A total of 9 patients achieved a complete clinical response (CCR), defined as no disease activity present; 2 achieved an almost CCR, defined as the reduction by more than 90% of disease activity; and 1 achieved a partial response, ie, reduction by more than 50% of disease activity. A CCR was achieved in all the patients with stage IA disease and in 3 of the 6 patients with stage IB disease. Of the 9 with a CCR, 6 also showed histopathologic clearing. Duration of the remissions, during which no therapy was allowed except for emollients, lasted from 2 to 9 months (mean: 5 months). No serious short-term side effects were recorded.

Conclusion

CDS appears to be an effective, well-tolerated therapy for patch-stage mycosis fungoides.

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