Highlights from

AAD 2021

American Academy of Dermatology Virtual Meeting Experience 2021

Virtual 23-25 April 2021

An alternative phototherapy for the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma

Summary: HyBryte, a novel photodynamic therapy, potentially represents the safest available and efficacious treatment for cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL). No DNA damage occurs, decreasing the risk of secondary malignancies and skin damaging.

Dr Ellen Kim (University of Pennsylvania, US) presented the results of the phase III FLASH trial,1 one of the largest multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled programmes on topical hypericin ointment in CTCL. HyBryte is a novel photodynamic therapy utilising external visible light for activation. The active ingredient is synthesised hypericin. This treatment approach avoids the risk of secondary malignancies other phototherapies are known for and decreases the risk of skin damage and premature skin ageing. In the previous phase II trial, which included 12 patients, improvement was observed with topical hypericin, paving the way for the here presented phase III trial.

In the FLASH study, 169 patients were enrolled in 37 sites in the US. The trial consisted of three treatment cycles. Treatments were administered twice weekly for the first 6 weeks. After the first cycle, a total of 16% of patients receiving HyBryte achieved a lesion reduction of ≥50%, compared with 4% of patients in the placebo group (P=0.004). After the second cycle, all patients received HyBryte treatment, corresponding with a response rate of 42%. The third cycle focused on safety and demonstrated a treatment response in 49% of the patients. HyBryte treatment was considered safe and well tolerated. Overall, HyBryte’s mechanism of action was not associated with DNA damage, rendering it efficacious and safe.

  1. Ellen K. Visible light activated topical hypericin ointment in CTCL: FLASH study results. Session S033: Late breaking abstracts. AAD VMX 2021, 23-25 April 2021.

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