VALCHLOR® (mechlorethamine) gel is an alkylating drug indicated for the topical treatment of Stage IA and IB mycosis fungoides–type cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (MF-CTCL) in patients who have received prior skin-directed therapy

How VALCHLOR works:
Mechanism of action and formulation

Mechlorethamine is an alkylating agent that inhibits rapidly proliferating cells1

  • Induces double-stranded DNA breaks which initiate apoptosis2
  • Increases expression of CASP3 gene in malignant T cells which facilitates apoptosis2
  • Demonstrates down regulation of several important DNA repair pathways in malignant T cells from mycosis fungoides–type cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (MF-CTCL) lesions2
Malignant T cell

MF-CTCL is mediated by neoplastic malignant Th2 helper T cells that become resident and accumulate in the skin, exhibiting a pattern of abnormal behaviors: uncontrolled proliferation and epidermotropism.3-9

Mechlorethamine in the skin

Upon application, mechlorethamine enters the skin and is taken up by cells in the epidermis and dermis.1,2

Alkylating agent

Mechlorethamine is a bifunctional alkylating agent that inhibits rapidly proliferating neoplastic T cells through its cytotoxic effects.10

Dividing apoptosis

This leads to the apoptosis of rapidly dividing malignant T cells.2

Patches and plaques

Treatment with mechlorethamine gel may have an effect on the typical manifestations of Stage IA/IB MF-CTCL, including patches and plaques...1

Symptom reduction

...leading to symptom reduction in many cases.1*

*VALCHLOR (n=119) was assessed in a 12-month randomized, multicenter, observer-blinded, nonInferiority study trial (N=260) vs Aquaphor®-based mechlorethamine HCI 0.02%. Primary endpoint: response by CAILS (Composite Assessment Index Lesion Severity) score (combined scores for erythema, scaling, plaque elevation, and surface area). CAILS ORR: 60% (PR 45% + CR 14%). VALCHLOR nonInferiority demonstrated by the rate ratio of 1.24 (95% CI, 0.98, 1.58). ORR (overall response rate) = PR (partial response) + CR (complete response, defined as score of 0).1

Click below to watch a video on the mechanism of action

Active ingredient


  • Inhibits rapidly proliferating cells and induces apoptosis of malignant T cells

Other ingredients

Solvents and cosolvents1,11

  • Diethylene glycol monoethyl ether + propylene glycol + isopropyl alcohol + glycerin
  • Deliver mechlorethamine to the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin


  • Creates a semisolid-like gel viscosity to keep mechlorethamine in sustained contact with the affected area


Non-greasy gel1,10,13

  • Lack of water in formulation provides greater stability
  • VALCHLOR is stable
    • 4 years in the freezer at -5ºF to -13ºF (-15ºC to -25ºC)
    • 90 days with refrigeration and with daily excursion from refrigeration no longer than 1 hour

Manufacturing process

Consistent and predictable10

  • Manufacturing specifications ensure consistent quality and concentration from batch to batch


  • The manufacturing process completely dissolves mechlorethamine into the formulation to ensure homogenous distribution throughout the gel