Photopheresis is also known as Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP).

ECP treatment involves using a machine to separate white blood cells from the blood. The white blood cells are then treated with an ultraviolet light before being returned to the patient. 

We use ECP to treat chronic graft versus host disease (CGvHD) and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). 

Whiston Suite
C Level
Rotherham Hospital
Moorgate Road
S60 2UD

Telephone: 01709 427003


Treatment will initially be delivered at weekly or two-weekly intervals. 

Photopheresis treatment is usually given over two consecutive days (one after another). These two days make up one treatment.

First visit

Once referred, you will be given an outpatient appointment with the consultant in charge of Photopheresis. 

We will take blood tests and make sure you are suitable for treatment.

An ECP nurse will explain photopheresis to you and show you around the unit. 

If you wish to go ahead with ECP, you will need to contact our medical secretary who will book your first treatment.

First treatment

At each visit for treatment, we will:

  • look at your medical history
  • look at your drug history
  • take a Pruritus (itch) score
  • conduct eye, mouth and gastrointestinal (stomach and intestines) assessments
  • conduct a joint assessment (if needed)
  • take blood tests
  • assess your Karnofsky scale (performance status) score

Please remember, treatment is repeated on two consecutive days. 

Base line photos are taken and repeated every three months. 

For CGvHD patients, baseline respiratory functions are taken

After your first treatment, you will be given your next treatment dates. The day before your next appointment, a nurse will call you to make sure you are fit and well for treatment. 

After three months

We will assess your improvement after three months.  

You will have extra tests including:

  • drug history since your last visit
  • blood tests
  • respiratory, skin and joint assessments
  • medical photography
  • a self-assessment measure of your activity
  • a self-assessment of your quality of life

At your three-monthly review, your consultant will assess your treatment response. If the treatment has had a good response, the gap between treatments may be increased. 

If you continue to respond well to treatment, your appointments will be reduced to six weekly, eight weekly and then three monthly. 

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