December 2020: Radiation oncologist, Dr. Christopher Kelsey discusses the different types of radiation therapy and when they may be appropriate for treating different stages of cutaneous lymphoma. Dr. Kelsey also responds to attendees' questions.
Christopher Kelsey, MD, Duke University Medical Center
Radiation therapy is the use of focused, high energy beams of X-rays, photons, or electrons to treat cancer. Today, radiation therapy is used to treat individual CTCL lesions (local or spot treatment) or the entire skin surface (total skin).
Brachytherapy was the first form of radiation therapy and it has been eclipsed in many sites by the more advanced external beam radiation therapy. However, there has been a renaissance of the use of Brachytherapy in skin cancers including cutaneous lymphoma due to modern Brachytherapy ability to deliver the most conformal superficial radiation therapy.
Q&A Session followed presentation with topics including:
- Is it usual to follow total skin electron beam therapy with systemic chemotherapy?
- How might facial lesions be treated?
- How frequently can total skin electron beam therapy be repeated?
- How frequently can localized electron beam therapy be repeated?
- Can radiation be used on open lesions or lesions that are not healing?
- Romidepsin, dose reduction and Sezary Syndrome
- Recurrence of lesions and type and length of treatment
- Effectiveness of Doxil in treating cutaneous lymphoma
- What determines how actively "clear" skin may be pursued?
- What treatment can safely be used around the eyes?