Recombinant interferon α2a, thymopentin and low doses of cytosine arabinoside for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes: A pilot study

Adriano Venditti, Maria Teresa Scimo, Giovanni Del Poeta, Francesco Buccisano, Roberto Stasi, Antonio Mastino, Sandro Grelli, Cartesio Favalli, Enrico Garaci, Giuseppe Papa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eighteen patients (pts) with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) were treated with thymopentin (TP) (50 mg subcutaneously for 5 days) and recombinant interferon α2a (rIFNα2a) (3 MU/m2 subcutaneously on the sixth day); the courses were delivered every week. Moreover those pts with ≥ 10% blasts in the bone marrow were additionally treated with low dose cytosine arabinoside (LDARAc) (20 mg standard dose, subcutaneously, twice a day for seven days every four weeks). Sixteen pts were finally assessable for response. Seven pts (44% were classified as good responders, 5 (31% had a PR; the overall response rate (GR + PR) was 75% Two pts (12.5% showed stable disease and the 2 remaining (12.5% had progressive disease. Six pts with an initial moderate anemia never required supportive care before and during the therapy; in contrast to 10 pts who were transfusion-dependent. After six months of therapy 2 pts decreased their transfusional needs by 50% (1 of them did not receive any transfusion over the following six months of therapy); 2 pts needed no packed red cell infusions and 1 pt decreased his transfusional support by 75% Five pts kept an unchanged supportive care load. The overall median survival was 12.5 months. Therapy was generally well tolerated with acceptable compliance; the most frequently recorded side effects were neutropenia and thrombocytopenia grade 2-3 among the group receiving LDARAc. However no life-threatening infectious episodes or bleeding were observed. TP, rIFNα2a and LDARAc can be safely administered on an outpatient basis to MDS pts and appears to have significant activity. Recruitment of a larger number of pts and longer observation is warranted and Randomized trials are also needed in order to evaluate the impact on the time to AML evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Interferon LDARAc
  • MDS
  • Thymopentin
  • Transfusional load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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