Content » Vol 99, Issue 9

Clinical Report

Therapeutic Efficacy of Etretinate on Cutaneous-type Adult T-cell Leukemia-Lymphoma

Kentaro Yonekura, Koichiro Takeda, Nobuyo Kawakami, Tamotsu Kanzaki, Takuro Kanekura, Atae Utsunomiya
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3196


Cutaneous-type adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma is treated with antiviral or skin-directed therapy. Medications that are used to treat skin lesions of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas are also used for the cutaneous-type adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma. Etretinate, a synthetic retinoid, has been used for treating cutaneous T-cell lymphomas; however, its clinical effectiveness for the treatment of cutaneous-type adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma has not been fully studied. We conducted a retrospective assessment of the efficacy and safety of etretinate in 9 patients with cutaneous-type adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma. Complete and partial responses to etretinate were observed in 1 and 7 patients, respectively. Among the responders, remission was maintained for more than 6 years in 2 patients. These results suggest that etretinate is a promising treatment option for cutaneous-type adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma.


Cutaneous-type adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma is a peculiar subgroup of smoldering adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma associated with cutaneous lesions. Patients with the cutaneous-type adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma are primarily treated with skin-directed therapy, similar to those with cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. However, once they become resistant to this treatment, the subsequent treatment options are limited. In this original article, we report the results of our retrospective study: etretinate, a synthetic retinoid analogue, which is widely used for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, is highly effective in treating cutaneous-type adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma.

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