Photopheresis

EMMC_Cancer_Care_8.jpgEMMC has the only Photopheresis treatment service north of Boston.

Photopheresis is a progressive form of immunotherapy. It is used to treat Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL) and can be used to control Graft-Versus-Host disease, organ rejection after heart, lung, kidney, or bone marrow transplantation. It can also treat several autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and Labert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS. The preliminary therapeutic results are very encouraging for a larger use of photopheresis in the treatment of T-cell mediated diseases.

During photopheresis, blood is taken from the patient and processed through a cell separation machine. This machine removes and treats white blood cells with a special UV photo light and specialized medication, and then returns the white blood cells and the rest of the blood into the patient’s body.

A series of treatments is usually required before symptoms are reduced. For these patients, photopheresis treatments are the only way to help restore their body’s natural ability to maintain a balanced immune system.