Relapses After Primary Interferon Therapy

In the Intergroup study, when patients with HCL who relapsed after primary interferon treatment were retreated again with interferon, 13 percent achieved complete responses and 18 percent partial responses.81 In this study, when patients refractory to interferon were crossed over to dCF, 66 percent achieved a complete response and 9 percent a partial response. In the Scripps Clinic report, responses to 2-CdA were independent of prior interferon therapy.90 In the National Cancer Institute Group C protocol of 429 HCL patients who had relapsed following interferon therapy, 86 percent achieved a response with 2-CdA treatment, which was not significantly different from the response rate of previously untreated HCL patients on the same protocol.93 These results suggest that HCL patients who relapse after interferon therapy should be treated with a purine nucle-oside analogue.

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