Photodynamic Therapy in Treating Patients With Refractory Mycosis Fungoides


About this study

This pilot phase II trial studies how well photodynamic therapy works in treating patients with mycosis fungoides that does not respond to treatment. Photodynamic therapy uses a drug, such as aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride, that becomes active when it is exposed to light. The activated drug may kill cancer cells.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Histological confirmation of mycosis fungoides as confirmed by the Mayo Clinic Arizona Dermatopathology Department
  • Patients must have a tumor or plaque that is refractory to conventional treatment including but not limited to one of the following (up to 4 lesions in a single field of PDT or RT will be considered for treatment):
    • Plaque stage disease that has failed at least 2 skin directed therapies (including topical steroids) or refractory plaques despite at least one systemic therapy or plaques with evidence of folliculotropism
    • The presence of a tumor of MF
  • Negative urine pregnancy test done =< 7 days prior to registration, for women of childbearing potential only
  • Ability to complete questionnaire(s) by themselves or with assistance
  • Provide written informed consent
  • Willing to return to enrolling institution for follow-up (during the Active Monitoring Phase of the study)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Prior radiation to the same site deemed to be too high of level of radiation for retreatment
  • Photosensitivity disorder, including but not limited to porphyria, or concomitant photosensitizing drugs that place the patient at an elevated risk of developing severe side effects to PDT or RT
  • Skin cancer other than actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma in situ in the field of RT
  • Active infection at the site to be irradiated
  • Any underlying condition which prevents the patient from being able to undergo the required number of sessions of PDT or RT and required follow up
  • Pregnancy
  • Lactation and a radiation field which would include the breast or nipple or deemed to place the mother or child at elevated risk of radiation exposure (evaluated by MRP, ARM, WR, WW)
  • An allergy to a component of Levulan
  • Women of childbearing potential (post-menopausal or not of child-bearing potential) is defined by: 1 year of natural (spontaneous) amenorrhea or surgical bilateral oophorectomy (with or without hysterectomy), total hysterectomy or tubal ligation at least 6 weeks ago; oophorectomy alone must confirmed by follow up hormone level assessment to be considered not of child-bearing potential, defined as all women physiologically capable of becoming pregnant, unless they are using basic methods of contraception which includes:
    • Total abstinence (Periodic abstinence and withdrawal are not acceptable methods of contraception)
    • Female sterilization (bilateral oophorectomy with or without hysterectomy), total hysterectomy, or tubal ligation at least 6 weeks before taking study treatment; oophorectomy alone requires follow up hormone level assessment for fertility
    • Male sterilization (at least 6 months prior to screening); the vasectomized male partner should be the sole partner for that subject
    • Barrier methods of contraception: condom or occlusive cap
    • Use of oral, injected or implanted hormonal methods of contraception or other forms or hormonal contraception that have complete efficacy (failure < 1%); (the dose of the contraceptive should be stable for 3 months)
  • Co-morbid systemic illnesses or other severe concurrent disease which, in the judgment of the investigator, would make the patient inappropriate for entry into this study or interfere significantly with the proper assessment of safety and toxicity of the prescribed regimens
  • Immunocompromised patients and patients known to be human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive and currently receiving antiretroviral therapy; NOTE: Patients known to be HIV positive, but without clinical evidence of an immunocompromised state, are eligible for this trial
  • Uncontrolled inter-current illness including, but not limited to, ongoing or active infection, symptomatic congestive heart failure, unstable angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, or psychiatric illness/social situations that would limit compliance with study requirements

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Aaron Mangold, M.D.

Closed for enrollment

Contact information:

Cancer Center Clinical Trials Referral Office

(855) 776-0015

More information


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