Many treatments are available for people with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Which treatments are best for you depends on your particular situation. Most people receive a combination of treatments for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
At Mayo Clinic, specialists in dermatology, hematology, pathology, radiology, oncology and radiation oncology work with other experts to devise a plan for your care. Your care team also considers your preferences and goals as it determines what treatment is best for you.
Treatment options may include:
- Skin creams and ointments. Medicines can be applied to your skin in the form of creams, foams, gels and ointments. Corticosteroids can help control skin redness and itchiness. Chemotherapy and retinoids can be applied to the skin to attack cancer cells.
- Light therapy. Light therapy involves taking a medicine that makes the cancer cells more sensitive to light. Then your skin is exposed to ultraviolet light, causing the cells to die. Healthy cells regenerate quickly, but cancer cells do not. Light therapy can use ultraviolet A light or ultraviolet B light.
- Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses beams of radioactive particles to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma uses electron beams, which target the skin and don't affect internal organs. Electron beam radiation may be directed to a specific area or applied to all of the skin.
- Medications. Medications used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma include biological therapy medicines that stimulate your immune system to attack cancer cells. Chemotherapy medicines attack quickly growing cells, including cancer cells. Targeted therapy medicines attack cancer cells by targeting the cells' specific vulnerabilities.
- Exposing blood cells to light. A procedure called extracorporeal photopheresis involves drawing blood from your body and treating it with a photosensitizing medicine. The blood is then exposed to ultraviolet light, which damages the cancer cells. Following this procedure, the blood is returned to your body.
- Clinical trials. Clinical trials are research studies that give you access to the latest treatments for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.