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J Pediatr. 1999 Dec;135(6):782-5.

Toxicity profile of interferon alfa-2b in children: A prospective evaluation.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Division of Haematology/Oncology, Sainte-Justine Hospital, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The toxicity of interferon (IFN) alfa-2b therapy was prospectively evaluated in 53 children treated from 1991 to 1996 in 2 successive studies of IFN alfa therapy for severe hemangiomas at Sainte-Justine Hospital. Toxicity was generally mild and transient, with grade 1 toxicity occurring in 100% of patients, grade 2 toxicity in 89%, grade 3 toxicity in 58%, and grade 4 toxicity in 17%. Ten of 43 patients available for evaluation had an abnormal neurologic examination. Severe neurotoxicity in the form of spastic diplegia occurred in one patient. In conclusion, IFN alfa therapy is generally well tolerated in children. However, it may rarely be associated with severe toxicity and must be used with caution.

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