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Leukemia. 1994 Sep;8(9):1474-9.

Impaired interferon alpha response in hairy cell leukemia is corrected by therapy with 2-chloro-2'-deoxyadenosine: implications for susceptibility to opportunistic infections.

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Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Long Island Campus for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New Hyde Park, NY 11042.


Patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL) are susceptible to opportunistic intracellular infections, suggesting defects in cellular immunity. Prior studies have indicated an association between failure of IFN-alpha generation by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNC) and susceptibility to such infections. We here present results on IFN-alpha generation in HCL patients pre- and post-therapy. Prior to treatment with 2-chloro-2'-deoxyadenosine (CdA), MNC from 24 HCL patients with active disease produced little or not IFN-alpha (geometric mean < 40 IU/ml) compared with controls (n = 140, geometric mean 1730 IU/ml, p < 0.0005). After treatment with CdA, IFN-alpha generation was studied in 16 patients, with a geometric mean value of 650 IU/ml (p < 0.0005 compared with pre-CdA levels). The severe depression of IFN-alpha generation improved progressively following CdA therapy-induced clinical remission. We propose that deficiency of IFN-alpha production may play a role in the susceptibility to intracellular infections of patients with active HCL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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