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The immunopathogenesis and immunotherapy of cutaneous T cell lymphoma: Current and future approaches.

In the past few decades, immunotherapy has emerged as an effective therapeutic option for patients with cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL). CTCL is characterized by progressive impairment of multiple arms of the immune system. Immunotherapy targets these deficits to stimulate a more robust antitumor response, thereby both clearing the malignant T cells and repairing the immune dysfunction. By potentiating rather than suppressing the immune system, immunotherapy can result in longer treatment responses than alternatives such as chemotherapy. In recent years, advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of CTCL have led to the development of several new agents with promising efficacy profiles. The second article in this continuing medical education series describes the current immunotherapeutic options for treatment of CTCL, with a focus on how they interact with the immune system and their treatment outcomes in case studies and clinical trials. We will discuss established CTCL immunotherapies, such as interferons, photopheresis, and retinoids; emerging therapies, such as interleukin-12 and Toll-like receptor agonists; and new approaches to targeting tumor antigens and checkpoint molecules, such as mogamulizumab, anti-programmed cell death protein 1, anti-CD47, and chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy. We also describe the principles of multimodality immunotherapy and the use of total skin electron beam therapy in such regimens.

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