Management of mycosis fungoides--current status and future prospects
Levi, J.A.; Wiernik, P.H.
Medicine 54(1): 73-88
Current knowledge concerning the course of mycosis fungoides and recognized prognostic factors have been reviewed. Those factors with prognostic significance at the time of biopsy diagnosis include age and the clinical findings of skin tumors, ulceration or palpable lymphadenopathy. During the course of disease, the development of skin tumors, ulceration or palpable lymphadenopathy were each associated with a poor prognosis and median survival was only 12 months if all those clinical parameters were present. Patients who developed overt visceral mycosis fungoides rarely survived more than a few months. Lymphocytopenia and the presence of malignant lymphoma in biopsied lymph nodes were also poor prognostic findings. The various modalities of therapy for proven mycosis fungoides were reviewed. Topical therapy and external irradiation were generally of symptomatic benefit only, but two recent studies have shown that aggressive use of topical nitrogen mustard and electron beam therapy are associated with long-term responses in patients with disease confined to the skin. Single agent chemotherapy often resulted in transient responses in advanced and refractory mycosis fungoides. Future approaches to the management of mycosis fungoides have been suggested. These include a thorough review of the histological features, a thorough and systematic pretreatment evaluation and randomized studies of the various treatment modalities including combination therapy in appropriately staged patients.