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Total Skin Electron Beam

Penn Medicine radiation oncologists use total skin electron beam therapy (TSEBT) to treat mycosis fungoides, the most common type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

In cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, cancer cells grow in the skin producing red patches, which can lead to tumors on the skin. Mycosis fungoides can appear as:

  • A patch that is flat in area, but has pigment changes or is scaly
  • A thick, raised area
  • Red skin that may be itchy
  • A tumor or ulcerated nodule

Total skin electron beam therapy involves treating the entire skin surface using low-energy electron beams generated by a linear accelerator. Because the electrons used in total skin electron beam therapy penetrate only the skin, this therapy spares deeper tissues and organs from radiation.

TSEBT is most often used in patients who are not responding to other treatments such as ultraviolet light, photophoresis, topical agents, or drugs. It may also be used in conjunction with other therapies.

TSEBT has been used for decades, and is well tolerated by patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

Types of Cancer Treated with Total Skin Electron Therapy

  • Mycosis fungoides (a type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma)