UVB in the management of early stage mycosis fungoides

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Abstract

Background

Several options for treatment of early mycosis fungoides (MF) offer similar success rates. Previous small studies have shown UVB to be at least as effective as PUVA.

Objective

To summarize our experience with UVB treatment of early MF.

Methods

A retrospective analysis of early-stage MF patients treated by narrow band (NB) or broad band (BB) UVB in our institution between 1996 and 2002. Most patients achieving complete response (CR) were put on maintenance until natural sun exposure was possible and followed up every 3–6 months. The results were compared to those previously reported regarding PUVA.

Results

Sixty-eight and 43 patients were treated by NB and BB UVB, respectively. Eighty-six per cent (84 and 89% in NB and BB UVB groups, respectively) of IA and 71% (78 and 44% in NB and BB UVB groups, respectively) of IB patients achieved CR within a mean of 12.8 and 10.6 weeks, respectively. When maintenance was stopped, 65 and 30% had not relapsed after an average follow up of 27 and 222 weeks, respectively. Non-relapse rate was 33 and 48% for those having had vs. those not having had maintenance, respectively.

Conclusions

Our results are comparable to all previously reported for skin-targeted treatments, including PUVA and, to our belief, reflect the nature of early MF, in which CR can probably be achieved in most of the patients. Among the responding patients there is no relapse during prolonged follow-up in about one third of the cases. Thus, we believe treatment should be stopped completely following first CR induction and maintenance treatment should be considered for relapsing patients only. Both broad and narrow UVB options are good and future choices should be made on the basis of short- and long-term side-effects.

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