Research Article| Volume 50, ISSUE 3, P217-225, June 2008

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Alterations of serum Th1 and Th2 chemokines by combination therapy of interferon-γ and narrowband UVB in patients with mycosis fungoides



      Mycosis fungoides (MF) is a T cell neoplasm with elevation of serum Th2 chemokines. Although interferon-γ (IFN-γ) administration and narrowband-UVB (NB-UVB) phototherapy are used for the treatment of MF, a combination therapy of these two modalities is not fully established.


      To define whether the combination of IFN-γ and NB-UVB affects the balance of serum levels of Th1 and Th2 chemokines in patients with MF.


      Twelve patients with MF received intravenous or intramuscular injections of recombinant IFN-γ (rIFN-γ) or natural IFN-γ (nIFN-γ) in combination with NB-UVB phototherapy. As control, three MF patients were treated with NB-UVB monotherapy. At the beginning and cessation of therapy, the concentrations of serum Th2 chemokines, TARC/CCL17 and MDC/CCL22, and Th1 chemokines, IP-10/CXCL10 and MIG/CXCL9 were measured by ELISA.


      Before treatment, not only Th2 chemokines but also Th1 chemokines were elevated in the patients. Whereas no significant changes were observed in the levels of TARC and MDC, IP-10 and MIG were further elevated by the combination of IFN-γ and NB-UVB. On the other hand, NB-UVB monotherapy did not change the level of either Th1 or Th2 chemokine.


      The combination of IFN-γ and NB-UVB elevated serum Th1 chemokines but unaffected Th2 chemokines. Since NB-UVB monotherapy could not affect the chemokine levels, the effect of the combination therapy is attributable to IFN-γ. Given the role of Th1 chemokines for tumor-attacking T cell recruitment at the early stage of MF, the therapy may exert a beneficial effect for early MF.


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