What is extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP)?

Updated: Nov 21, 2016
  • Author: Vikas Shrivastava, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is a leukapheresis-based therapeutic procedure that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) since 1988. ECP, also known as extracorporeal photochemotherapy and extracorporeal photoimmunotherapy, is performed at over 200 centers worldwide. [1, 2]

In addition to CTCL, ECP has been shown to have efficacy in the treatment of other disorders, including graft versus host disease (GVHD), solid organ transplant rejection, scleroderma, atopic dermatitis, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, lichen planus, lupus erythematosus, pemphigus vulgaris, Crohn disease, and type 1 diabetes. [3, 4] Extracorporeal photopheresis may also have some use in the treatment of psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, nephrogenic systemic fibrosis/nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy, and scleromyxedema. [1, 5]

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