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Volume 19, Number 2, 2014

Clinical results of the total skin electron irradiation of the mycosis fungoides in adults. Conventional fractionation and low dose schemes

Joanna Kaźmierska



Mycosis fungoides (MF) is a rare skin condition, effectively treated by irradiation. Since 1951, different methods of total skin irradiation have been developed. Although dose–response effect has been demonstrated in many publications, controversies about low dose treatment still exist.


The analysis of results of the total skin electron irradiation (TSEI), especially low dose TSEI in comparison with standard dose treatment is the subject of this review. Also, acute and late side effects of radiotherapy in MF are discussed.

Materials and methods

Medline search and analysis of studies published between 1995 and 2012, containing key words: mycosis fungoides, standard dose TSEI, low dose TSEI, total skin electron beam therapy (TSEBT).


Detailed analysis of relevant studies demonstrated that standard dose radiotherapy 30–36 Gy is the most effective treatment used in clinical practice. Objective response rate (ORR) is high, especially for less advanced stages of disease. Complete response rate (CR), although slightly lower, is still relatively high.

For more advanced MF, TSEI serves as a very good method of palliative treatment and relief of symptoms, like pruritus, pain or desquamation.

There is no consensus regarding low dose TSEI; the method is widely accepted as a palliative treatment or in case of reirradiation.


Standard dose TSEI is an effective method of MF treatment for radical and palliative treatment, producing high rate of ORR and reasonably long time to progression (TTP). Acute and late side effect of treatment are mostly mild and easy to manage. Low dose TSEI is still in the phase of clinical studies.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2014; 19(2) : 99-103

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