In a nutshell
This study observed the effects of a protein treatment called interferon-alpha in patients with acute leukemia unresponsive to transplant therapy. The authors found that this treatment was effective in improving treatment response and survival in these patients.
Interferon-alpha (IFN-a) is a type of protein released from immune cells that inhibits tumor growth by attacking cancer cells.
Bone marrow transplant is an effective treatment option in patients with acute leukemia but some may not fully respond to the treatment. Prognosis is poor in these patients. It is important to research if interferon-alpha may be a treatment option in these patients.
Methods & findings
A total of 98 patients were included in the study, with 31 patients receiving IFN-a and 67 patients in the control (false treatment for comparison) group. Of the patients who received the treatment, they were treated for 60 days on average and received 50 doses. No patients stopped treatment due to side effects.
In the IFN-a group, 80.6% of patients responded to treatment, in comparison to 32.8% of patients in the non-IFN group. After 2 years, 31.6% of patients treated with IFN-a became unresponsive compared to 61.2% of the control group. 57.4% of patients survived after treatment without signs of disease compared to 28.4% of the control group. 67.6% of patients in the IFN-a group survived overall compared to 32.9% of the control group.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that Interferon-alpha is a safe treatment option for high risk acute leukemia patients with leukemia at risk of becoming unresponsive to transplant therapy.
The fine print
This study was conducted with both adults and children.
Talk to your doctor about interferon-alpha treatment after transplant therapy.
Published By :
Annals of Hematology
Jul 11, 2018