Chen Discusses Diagnosis, Management, and Disparities in Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma


Dr Chen details the findings from a study of patients with transformed cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, gives her perspective on findings from the FLASH trial, and discusses the need for more research funding in this disease.

Welcome to OncLive On Air®! I’m your host today, Jason Harris.

OncLive On Air® is a podcast from OncLive®, which provides oncology professionals with the resources and information they need to provide the best patient care. In both digital and print formats, OncLive® covers every angle of oncology practice, from new technology to treatment advances to important regulatory decisions.

In today’s episode, I spoke with Pei-Ling Chen, MD, PhD, a member of the Pathology and Cutaneous Oncology Departments at Moffitt Cancer Center and a member of the Moffitt Cutaneous Lymphoma Multidisciplinary Clinic, about cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) for our monthly Rare Cancers series.

Incidence of CTCL has increased slowly, but steadily, since the 1970s. Overall incidence was 7.7 cases per 1 million population from 2001 to 2005. The 5-year survival rate also increased over that period until 1997 to 2005, when the 5-year rate plateaued at 78.3%.

Early-stage disease presents with scaly patches alone, or patches and plaques of different shapes and sizes, commonly located on the sun-protected areas of the body. At this point, CTCL can look like a number of skin conditions, making it one of the most challenging diseases to diagnose. Advanced-stage disease can be highly disfiguring and lethal and often fails to respond to multiple forms of systemic therapy.

Black patients have a higher incidence rate, younger age of onset, higher disease burden, and inferior survival compared with Whites. Investigators do not understand the cause of racial disparities in CTCL. Dr Chen recently published results from a study of skin biopsies and fresh tissue specimens from 56 patients with transformed CTCL that may provide answers.

In our exclusive interview, Dr Chen detailed the findings from that study and how those results could affect treatment of patients with CTCL. She also gave her perspective on findings from the phase 3 FLASH trial (NCT02448381), which showed that hypericin, a novel skin-directed, non-mutagenic photodynamic therapy, induced a response rate of 16% in patients compared with 4% of patients assigned to placebo, and discussed the need for more research funding in CTCL.


That’s all we have for today! Thanks again to my guest, Pei-Ling Chen, MD, and thank you for listening to this episode of OncLive On Air®. Check back on Mondays and Thursdays for exclusive interviews with leading experts in the oncology field.

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