Content » Vol 62, Issue 1

Transfer factor therapy in mycosis fungoides: a double-blind study

Thestrup-Pedersen K, Grunnet E, Zachariae H.
DOI: 10.2340/00015555624753


Sixteen patients with mycosis fungoides (MF) were given either active transfer factor (TF) or heat-inactivated TF as additional therapy to topical nitrogen mustard or PUVA. The TF was prepared from non-selected healthy blood donors. The clinical evaluation after 2 years of therapy showed that among 8 patients treated with active TF, none went into complete remission of their disease 4 patients had partial remission, one was unchanged, 2 progressed, and one died of active MF. In the placebo-treated group, 5 patients achieved complete remission and 2 partial remission. One patient died early in the trial due to cardiac disease. Immunological studies during the first year of therapy revealed cutaneous anergy towards tuberculin in most patients. This anergy did not change during TF therapy and differed from normal lymphocyte reactivity in vitro after tuberculin stimulation. At the start of treatment the patients had diminished levels of T lymphocytes in peripheral blood. A temporary increase was observed in the total number of T lymphocytes in patients after one month of treatment with active TF. After one year the T lymphopenia had disappeared in both groups. The mitogen reactivity of lymphocytes was found to be normal (PHA, PWM) or somewhat reduced (Con A). It is concluded that under the conditions employed in this trial, TF was not able to prevent progression of early mycosis fungoides, when viewed over a period of 2 years.


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