CTCL includes a number of clinical syndromes, the most common of which are mycosis fungoides and the Sézary syndrome. Mycosis fungoides presents with patches, plaques, or tumors. In the initial stages disease is confined to the skin. Sézary syndrome is a leukemic variant of CTCL, characterized by erythroderma (stage T4), lymphadenopathy, pruritus and circulating neoplastic (Sézary) cells (stage B1).
Bexarotene is FDA approved for this disease whereas the very similar gel Tazoratene is not. The latter has only one study to support it. A 20 patient pilto study concluded that tazarotene 0.1% gel was a well-tolerated and effective adjuvant topical for the treatment of refractory MF lesions.
It is currenlty in a clinical trial: Tazarotene 0.1% Cream For the Treatment of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma: A Prospective Study, NCT00779896 and despite the analogy with bexarotene is still experimental.
Whittaker SJ, Marsden JR, Spittle M, Russell Jones R. Joint British Association of Dermatologists and U.K. Cutaneous Lymphoma Group guidelines for the management of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. Br J Dermatol 2003 Dec;149(6):1095-107. [67 references]
Apisarnthanarax N, Talpur R, Ward S, Ni X, Kim HW, Duvic M.
Tazarotene 0.1% gel for refractory mycosis fungoides lesions: an open-label pilot study.J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 Apr;50(4):600-7.