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Stars Shine Brighter for Mycosis Fungoides Patients: New Noninvasive Treatment Option

A new study demonstrates that the use of mechlorethamine gel, 0.02%, instead of a compounded ointment is safe, effective and delivers results in the treatment of T-cell Lymphoma. 
Traditionally, mycosis fungoides is treated with a compounded ointment. However, according to the January 2013 edition of JAMA Dermatology, there is a new a treatment in town and it has the research to back it up. 
The Topical Chemotherapy study contained 260 patients (which is the single largest controlled clinical trial in MF-CTCL), in medical or cancer centers, with stage IA to IIA Mycosis Fungoides. These patients had not used a topical mechlorethamine within 2 years and were unaware to previous use of topical carmustine therapy. 
The results of this study were not overwhelming, yet positive.  
The mechlorethamine, 0.02%, gel vs. ointment 58.5% vs. 47.7 by the Composite Assessment of Index Lesion Severity and 46.9% vs 46.2% by the Modified Severity-Weighted Assessment Tool 
The ratio of gel response rate to ointment response rate was 1.23 (95% CI, 0.97-1.55), which met the pre-specified criterion for non-inferiority.
Approximately 20.3% of enrolled patients in the gel treatment arm and 17.3% of enrolled patients in the ointment treatment arm withdrew because of drug-related skin irritation. No systemic absorption of the study medication was detected.
It is worth noting that there were some adverse events related to mechlorethamine, 0.02%, gel, characterized as local skin irritation. Approximately 20 percent of mechlorethamine gel-treated patients withdrew within the first few months and that 89.2% of those occurred before month 6 of the trial. 
Ultimately, what can be gleaned from this study is that the use of mechlorethamine, 0.02%, gel in treatment of mycosis fungoides is effective and safe. 
What this offers is a new option in the treatment of Tumors that is a noninvasive option that provides confidence for the patient as well as the practitioner.  
[Image by: Adam Evans]
Sources: 1, 2, 3

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