The clinical, hematologic and cytogenetic effects of human recombinant gamma interferon (IFN) were investigated in 14 patients with Ph+ chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Gamma-IFN was given at a daily dosage of 0.50 mg (=10×106 U)/m2 from the 3rd week of treatment on, but the dosage had to be reduced to 0.25 mg/m2 in 10 cases and to 0.35 mg/m2 in 2 cases, because of the severity and persistence of side effects (mainly fever, fatigue, headache and pain). Only 2 patients tolerated the full dosage. The overall response rate was 64% (1 complete and 8 partial hematologic responses). Only patients in stable chronic phase responded. Two out of two patients in unstable chronic phase and two out of two patients in accelerated phase failed to respond. Eight out of nine responding patients remained in remission throughout the duration of treatment (30 to 35 weeks). No karyotypic conversion was detected. These data show that gamma IFN alone is effective in Ph+ CML, but that side effects can limit substantially the dosage and duration of treatment.
- Chronic myeloid leukemia
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