Extracorporeal Photopheresis

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. 

Method

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. 


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