A clinical trial shows positive results for the most common cutaneous lymphoma treatment with an immunosuppressive drug

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Dr. Cristina Muniesa and Dr. Octavi Servitje, from the Dermatology Service of the Bellvitge University Hospital (HUB) and IDIBELL researchers, participated in this study that evaluates the use of topical pimecrolimus in mycosis fungoides and was published in the prestigious journal The Lancet Haematology.

The multicenter phase 2 PimTo-MF trial involved the topical administration of pimecrolimus, a drug that inhibits substances that cause inflammation, to patients in the early stages of mycosis fungoides, the most common type of cutaneous lymphoma.

Six centers, including IDIBELL, have participated in the trial, which presented positive results. More than 50% of patients responded positively to pimecrolimus cream application, and it was well tolerated by practically all of them.

Pimecrolimus is a topical inhibitor of calcineurin, an enzyme responsible for activating the protein that stimulates the growth and proliferation of T lymphocytes. These lymphocytes are responsible for coordinating the immune response through cells, as well as, for the cooperation necessary for all types of immune response. This is the first clinical trial evaluating the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma with a calcineurin inhibitor.

Topical calcineurin inhibitors are already used for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and other skin diseases. “It was recently shown that a variable percentage of patients with mycosis fungoides have mutations in the calcineurin pathway, which has justified this clinical trial with pimecrolimus, and opens the possibility of a new effective topical treatment in patients with early forms of this disease”, concludes Dr. Octavi Servitje.



The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).

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