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Cancer. 1990 Jun 1;65(11):2451-4.

Recombinant interferon-alpha combined with prednisone in metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Reduced toxicity without reduction of the response rate--a phase II study.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo.


Five responses (lung metastases, three; lymph node metastases, two) were observed in 23 patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who received recombinant interferon-alpha-2A (IFN) 18 X 10(6) U in three intramuscular doses each week combined with oral prednisone (10 to 20 mg daily). The response duration was 4+, 4+, 9, 11+, and 15+ months. In general, the combination treatment of interferon and prednisone lead to a significant reduction of the subjective side effects (flu-like symptoms) as compared to a previous experience in patients treated with interferon only. Reduction of the interferon dose or discontinuation of IFN treatment was necessary in only two of 23 patients receiving IFN plus prednisone. Prednisone, however, had little effect on the hepatic toxicity often associated with high-dose IFN treatment. The subjective tolerability of a high dose of IFN is significantly increased if oral prednisone (10-20 mg) is given concomitantly in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma without reducing the response rate. Randomized trials will be necessary to confirm the efficacy of the IFN and prednisone combination. In addition, higher doses of IFN combined with prednisone should be evaluated in this malignancy.

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