Fixed in a FLASH.

Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (aka Mycosis Fungoides) is a chronic condition. That means it calls for treatments that don’t saddle you with long term complications. Standard treatment options include radiation versus topical chemo and/or steroids, but none of those fit the bill. A novel idea is hypericin, a plant-based compound, that when applied topically is preferentially absorbed into cancer cells. To further widen the therapeutic ratio, it is uniquely activated by visible light in the yellow-red spectrum (range, 500-650 nm) that only penetrates 1-2 mm into the dermis. Finally, it’s non-mutagenic (aka not carcinogenic). A phase 3 FLASH trial of 169 patients reports a response rate of 50% after three 6-week cycles of topical hypericin (administered twice weekly followed by light treatment) with no serious adverse reactions, making this a great go-to for younger patients who don’t mind the frequent office visits. | Kim, JAMA Dermatol 2022


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