What is THERAKOS™ Photopheresis?
THERAKOS™ Photopheresis (foh-toh-fuh-REE-siss) is a therapy designed to reduce the skin symptoms associated with an immune related cancer called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). THERAKOS™ Photopheresis is also used to treat a condition called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) that can occur after bone marrow transplantation; and to treat tissue rejection that can occur after some solid organ transplant (SOT) operations.
The therapy involves the intravenous (IV) collection of blood from your body and the treatment of that blood, first with a medication, then with ultraviolet-A (UVA) light, after which the blood is returned to your body.
THERAKOS™ Photopheresis is also known as extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP), photoimmune therapy, and immune cell therapy.
In multiple clinical trials, THERAKOS™ Photopheresis has been shown to reduce the signs and symptoms of CTCL.4,5 In other studies, photopheresis has been associated with a reduction in the amount of immunosuppressive therapy needed to treat patients who have GVHD.16-20 Photopheresis has also been shown to be associated with an improvement in GVHD and some of the symptoms associated with GVHD and SOT rejection.16-23
How can THERAKOS™ Photopheresis help me?
In many patients, THERAKOS™ Photopheresis has very positive effects, although not all patients will respond. Some people with CTCL may experience decreased itching and redness, whereas others may have noticeable or complete clearing of the skin. In the case of GVHD, successful treatment will eventually result in the improvement of skin lesions and the lessening of signs of the disease in other organs (such as gut and liver).16-20 In the case of SOT rejection, successful treatment with photopheresis can reduce or reverse rejection and symptoms of rejection in some organs.21-23 One other effect of successful photopheresis therapy in GVHD and SOT rejection is that patients may be able to take lower doses of steroids and other immunosuppressive medication.16-23 As with any medical treatment, it is difficult to predict the type and extent of response you will have.
Only you and your doctor can determine whether THERAKOS™ Photopheresis is right for you.
How safe is THERAKOS™ Photopheresis?
THERAKOS™ Photopheresis has an established safety record, having been used for over 20 years in more than 500,000 treatments.4 Its safety has been demonstrated in a long-term clinical trial (involving more than 5 years’ follow-up).6 And THERAKOS™ Photopheresis does not increase your risk for infection or additional cancers.8,11 Risks associated with the procedure include a drop in blood pressure, fever, or worsening of skin redness, which usually resolves in 1 day.
Types of THERAKOS™ Photopheresis
There are 2 types of instruments that deliver THERAKOS™ Photopheresis: THERAKOS™ CELLEX™ and THERAKOS™ UVAR XTS™ Photopheresis Systems. Both instruments work similarly to provide ECP.
Ask your doctor if THERAKOS™ Photopheresis therapy may be right for you.
The side effects of THERAKOS™ Photopheresis are listed below:
- Sensitivity to sunlight for 24 hours
- Avoid sunlight
- Wear UVA-protective glasses
- Wear sunscreen (an SPF [sun protection factor] of at least 15)
- Fatigue, itchiness, fever, redness
- Risk of infection due to needle puncture
- Drop in blood pressure
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