Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is a medical procedure in which an individual’s white blood cells are exposed first to a drug called 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) and then to ultraviolet A (UVA) light. The procedure starts with the removal of the individual’s blood to isolate the white blood cells. The drug is typically administered directly to the white blood cells after they have been removed from the individual (referred to as ex vivo administration) but the drug can alternatively be administered directly to the individual before the white blood cells are withdrawn. After UVA light exposure, the treated white blood cells are then re-infused into the Individual.
ECP may be considered medically necessary for the following indications:
ECP for any other indication is considered not medically necessary.
A cycle of ECP consists of treatment on two consecutive days, once per month. If there is no response to the treatment within six to eight months, the treatment should be stopped.