Interferon alpha-2b as therapy for patients with Ph'-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia

G. Alimena, E. Morra, M. Lazzarino, A. M. Liberati, E. Montefusco, D. Inverardi, P. Bernasconi, M. Mancini, E. Donti, F. Grignani, C. Bernasconi, F. Dianzani, F. Mandelii

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We treated 114 Ph' + chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients, 105 of whom were in chronic phase (CP) and 9 in accelerated phase (AP), with interferon alpha-2b (IFN α-2b) at intermittent or daily doses of 2-5 MU/m2. Of 35 previously untreated CP patients, 22 (63%) showed complete hematological response (CHR). This was significantly influenced by initial risk status. In 19 of the 22 CHR patients the median of Ph' + cells decreased from 100% to 58%. Of 36 patients pretreated for <12 months, 19 (53%) achieved CHR. CHR rate was significantly related to IFN dose. Cytogenetic improvement was observed in 15 of the 19 patients, the median of Ph' + cells dropping from 100% to 76%, with complete suppression of the Ph' chromosome in 1 case. Of the 34 patients pretreated for > 12 months, 21 (62%) obtained CHR. Cytogenetic improvement was observed in 10 cases, the median of Ph' + cells declining from 100% to 66%. 1 of 9 AP patients obtained CHR. After a median follow-up of 32 months for the 63 CHR patients, 49 (78%) are still in disease control: 34 of IFN therapy, 15 after bone marrow transplantation (BMT) (13 autologous and 2 allogeneic). Blastic transformation (BT) occurred in 9 of 63 (14%) CHR patients and in 24 of 51 (47%) patients with less than CHR. IFN α-2b has proved to be an effective treatment for CML. Its combination with other treatment modalities represents an interesting and promising approach for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Haematology, Supplement
Issue number52
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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