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J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 1994 Apr-Jun;8(2):56-9.

Resistance to recombinant alpha interferon therapy in idiopathic mixed cryoglobulinemia: reinduction of remission by natural alpha interferon both in antibody-positive and -negative patients.

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Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Roma, La Sapienza, Italy.


A subset of patients treated with recombinant interferon alpha-2a (rIFN-alpha 2a) for idiopathic mixed cryoglobulinemia (IMC) developed clinical resistance to therapy after a sustained response. Neutralizing antibodies to rIFN-alpha 2a were found in the sera of three out of four such patients, and in none of the patients who remained responsive to treatment. rIFN-alpha 2a neutralizing antibodies appeared in serum samples of the former three patients 1, 5 and 6 months before evidence for clinical resistance, respectively. Antibody titres to rIFN-alpha 2a were consistently higher than those to natural interferon (nIFN). In the fourth patient with clinical resistance, neutralizing antibodies could not be detected by a very sensitive bioassay in any of several serum samples taken before and after relapse. All the four patients could be reinduced into remission by the administration of nIFN-alpha. These data indicate that mechanisms other than the production of neutralizing antibodies can mediate acquired resistance to IFN therapy. Furthermore, both antibody-related and -unrelated resistance can be overcome by switching to different species of IFN-alpha.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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