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Acta Haematol. 2006;115(1-2):109-12.

Continuous complete hematological and cytogenetic remission with molecular minimal residual disease 9 years after discontinuation of interferon-alpha in a patient with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1Medizinische Klinik I, Maria Hilf Kliniken GmbH, M├Ânchengladbach, Germany. verbeekw@mariahilf.de


Interferon-alpha has been used as standard therapy for patients with Philadelphia-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) for more than 20 years. Recently randomized trials have shown a superiority of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib in respect to its efficacy to induce complete hematological and cytogenetic remissions and more importantly in overall survival. Although follow-up is much shorter for imatinib than for interferon-alpha, this data changed the treatment algorithms in this disease. At the end of the era of interferon-alpha as a single-drug first-line treatment for most patients we present a case report which exemplifies a rare but exciting property of interferon-alpha in CML: the induction of complete hematological and cytogenetic remissions which can persist over years after discontinuation of the drug. Hence, the enrollment of CML patients in clinical trials which explore a combination treatment of imatinib and interferon-alpha is warranted.

Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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