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Dermatology Online Journal

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Dermatologists are more likely than oncologists to prescribe skin-directed therapies for early-stage cutaneous T-cell lymphoma: a retrospective review


Early-stage cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is managed effectively with skin-directed therapies such as topical medications, phototherapy, and local ionizing radiation. Patients with CTCL often seek care from both dermatologists and oncologists. Our study aimed to compare the frequency that skin-directed treatments were prescribed to patients managed by each of these specialties. Overall, we found there was a statistically detectable relationship between the presence or absence of oncologist involvement and the likelihood that a patient would be prescribed skin-directed therapies (P=0.0003). Of the oncologists included in the study, 66% opted for management revolving around systemic rather than skin-directed therapies. However, when a dermatologist and oncologist worked together in a patient's care, the number of patients receiving skin-directed therapies increased to 100%. Our study suggests that patients with early stage CTCL may benefit from having a dermatologist involved in their care.

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