Extracorporeal photopheresis is a relatively new
form of apheresis (colloquially “blood cleansing” or “blood purification
process”). Like PUVA, extracorporeal photopheresis is also a photo-immunotherapy
in which a photosensitizing substance, 8-methoxypsoralen, is used.
Patients with the following disorders can be treated:
- Lymphomas of the skin: Sézary syndrome
- Transplant rejection reactions following lung transplants (Zurich Center),
graft versus host disease, and kidney transplants.
White blood cells are removed from the blood by
centrifuge, transferred onto a photosensitizing substance (methoxypsoralen)
outside the body (extracorporeal) and irradiated with UV-A light. At the end of
treatment, the white blood cells are re-infused intravenously. Therapy lasts
two days and takes place once or twice per month.
Expertise of the Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zurich
The Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zurich, is one of two centers
in Switzerland that perform photopheresis. It has an extensive and
well-founded expertise based on many years of experience.