Interferon alpha-2b in the long-term treatment of essential thrombocythemia

S. Sacchi, A. Tabilio, P. Leoni, A. Riccardi, A. Vecchi, C. Messora, F. Falzetti, S. Rupoli, G. Ucci, M. F. Martelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We treated 35 patients affected with essential thrombocythemia (ET) with interferon (IFN) alpha-2b. Our treatment scheme consisted of (a) a 6-month induction phase and (b) a continuous maintenance phase. During the induction phase, our results showed that using 21 million units (mu) of IFN weekly platelet counts fell below 600×109/l in about 90% of patients. These data demonstrate that well-tolerated doses of IFN can rapidly correct excessive thrombocytosis. During the continuous maintenance phase, 61% of patients required 3 mu three times a week, 15% once a week, and 24% daily. Thus the minimal IFN doses able to maintain platelet count below 600×109/l varied between 3 and 21 mu per week. During long-term treatment, subjective side effects were tolerable, especially using 3 mu three times a week. We conclude that IFN alpha-2b is an effective drug in the long-term treatment of ET.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-209
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1991


  • Essential thrombocythemia
  • Interferon alpha
  • Long-term treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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