Outcome of patients treated with a single-fraction dose of palliative radiation for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

March 1, 2013


Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a radiosensitive tumor. Presently, treatment with radiation is given in multiple fractions. The current literature lacks data that support single-fraction treatment for CTCL. This retrospective review assesses the clinical response in patients treated with a single fraction of radiation.


This study reviewed the records of 58 patients with CTCL, primarily mycosis fungoides, treated with a single fraction of palliative radiation therapy (RT) between October 1991 and January 2011. Patient and tumor characteristics were reviewed. Response rates were compared using Fisher’s exact test and multiple logistic regressions. Survival rates were determined using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cost-effectiveness analysis was performed to assess the cost of a single vs a multifractionated treatment regimen.


Two hundred seventy individual lesions were treated, with the majority (97%) treated with ≥ 700 cGy; mean follow-up was 41.3 months (range, 3-180 months). Response rate by lesion was assessed, with a complete response (CR) in 255 (94.4%) lesions, a partial response in 10 (3.7%) lesions, a partial response converted to a CR after a second treatment in 4 (1.5%) lesions, and no response in 1 (0.4%) lesion. The CR in lower extremity lesions was lower than in other sites (P=.0016). Lesions treated with photons had lower CR than those treated with electrons (P=.017). Patients with lesions exhibiting large cell transformation and tumor morphology had lower CR (P=.04 and P=.035, respectively). Immunophenotype did not impact response rate (P=.23). Overall survival was significantly lower for patients with Sézary syndrome (P=.0003) and erythroderma (P<.0001). The cost of multifractionated radiation was >200% higher than that for single-fraction radiation.


A single fraction of 700 cGy-800 cGy provides excellent palliation for CTCL lesions and is cost effective and convenient for the patient.

Thomas TO, Agrawal P, Guitart J, Rosen ST, Rademaker AW, Querfeld C, Hayes JP, Kuzel TM & Mittal BB.

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