NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Mycosis Fungoides, Version 1.2016
inside, it releases the chemotherapy. By targeting
only cells with CD30 receptors, fewer normal cells
are harmed. Brentuximab vedotin is not yet FDA
approved for mycosis fungoides.
Brentuximab vedotin is slowly injected into a vein for
about 30 minutes. It is often given every 3 weeks.
The most common side effects include low blood
counts, tingling in hands and feet, fatigue, nausea,
diarrhea, fever, rash, hair loss, and lung infections.
Rare but severe side effects include brain infection,
serious disorder of skin and mucous membranes,
inflammation of the pancreas, and kidney problems.
Immunotherapy uses your immune system to help
fight cancer. Immunotherapy is also called biologic
therapy. There are three immunotherapies used to
treat mycosis fungoides.
Interferon alfa and interferon gamma are molecules
called cytokines. Cytokines exist naturally in your
body as part of your immune system. They can
also be made in the lab and be used as a cancer
treatment. When used as a cancer treatment,
cytokines can be given in much higher amounts than
what the body makes. Cytokines will trigger your
immune system to attack cancer cells.
Interferon alfa and gamma can be received as
injections under the skin. Interferon alpha can also be
received as an injection into a vein. They are systemic
treatments that are given several times a week.
Common side effects include flu-like symptoms,
nausea, vomiting, not feeling hungry, depression, hair
thinning, heart damage, and liver damage.
Imiquimod is a cream that is applied directly to skin
lesions. It triggers the immune system to make
interferon and other cytokines. How it treats mycosis
fungoides is not fully known and it is not approved by
the FDA for mycosis fungoides. Imiquimod can cause
skin to flake and itch. It may also cause your limbs to
Overview of cancer treatments Immunotherapy