Extracorporeal photopheresis: Past, present, and future

Robert Knobler, Mark L. Barr, Daniel R. Couriel, James L.M. Ferrara, Lars E. French, Peter Jaksch, Walter Reinisch, Alain H. Rook, Thomas Schwarz, Hildegard Greinix

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is a leukapheresis-based therapy that uses 8-methoxypsoralen and ultraviolet A irradiation. Used alone or in combination with biological agents, ECP is an established and effective therapy for advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. ECP has also shown promising efficacy in a number of other severe and difficult-to-treat conditions, including systemic sclerosis, graft-versus-host disease, prevention and treatment of rejection in solid organ transplantation, and Crohn disease. Furthermore, the use of ECP in some of these conditions may allow a significant reduction in the use of systemic steroids and other immunosuppressants, reducing long-term morbidity and mortality. The accumulated experience shows ECP to be well tolerated, with no clinically significant side effects. Progress is also being made in the search for understanding of the mechanisms of action of ECP, which will ultimately facilitate improvements in the use of this therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-665
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Crohn disease
  • Sézary syndrome
  • T-cell clonality
  • atopic dermatitis
  • bone marrow transplant
  • bronchiolitis obliterans
  • bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome
  • cardiac transplant
  • contact hypersensitivity mouse model
  • cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • extracorporeal photopheresis
  • graft-versus-host disease
  • lichen planus
  • liver transplant
  • lung transplant
  • mycosis fungoides
  • renal transplant
  • solid organ transplant
  • systemic sclerosis


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