In a nutshell
This study looked at the effectiveness of interferon-alpha (IntronA) treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) with residual disease after transplantation. Researchers found that this treatment may be useful in patients with signs of disease after transplant.
Chronic myeloid leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow. It is often treated with a bone marrow transplant. Some patients may still have signs of disease after this treatment. Interferon-alpha (IFN-A) is a type of drug which may be effective with this. It boosts the immune response and reduces the growth of cancer cells. It is important to research further treatment in patients who have cancer cells left after transplant and do not tolerate standard therapies such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).
Methods & findings
40 patients were included in this study. All patients had signs of disease between 6 and 12 months after transplant. All patients were then treated with IFN-A. Patients were compared to other patients with similar conditions treated in the past with other therapies (control group).
Signs of disease returning in the short-term was 12.6% in the IFN-A treated patients compared to 42% in the control group. Remission was achieved by 75% of patients. 67.5% of patients were still without signs of disease after 16.5 years and with no further leukemia treatment.
The bottom line
The study concluded that IFN-A was effective in the treatment of patients with CML with residual disease after transplant.
The fine print
This study has a small sample size. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results.
Published By :
Leukemia & lymphoma
Apr 24, 2019