, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 37–40 | Cite as

Recombinant interferon-alpha, but not interferon-gamma is effective therapie for essential thrombocythemia

  • M. J. B. P. Abegg-Werter
  • J. M. M. Raemaekers
  • B. E. de Pauw
  • C. Haanen
Original article


Recombinant interferon-gamma with a starting dose of 0.5 mg 3×/week subcutaneously, was administered to 6 patients with essential thrombocythemia (median platelet count 1172×109/1, range 602–1564). Four of the patients had received alkylating agents previously. Hematological remission, defined as a decrease in platelet counts to ≤ 350×109/l, was observed in none of these patients. Subsequently 4 of these 6 patients, supplemented by 2 others were treated with interferonalpha2c at a dose of 5×106 U daily subcutaneously. Five patients showed hematological remission. In case of hematological remission the interferonalpha dosis was reduced to 5× an thereafter to 3× weekly 5×106 U. During an observation period ranging from 12–41 weeks platelet counts remained normal in all patients. Side-effects were mild and consisted of fever, myalgias, malaise and itching occurring mainly during the first month of treatment. No dose adaptation was required. The patients treated previously with interferon-gamma experienced the side effects from this drug less tolerably than those from the alpha-compound. These observations suggest that recombinant interferonalpha may be an effective drug in treating essential thrombocythemia resulting in a sustained response.

Key words

Thrombocythemia Interferon-alpha Interferon-gamma 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. B. P. Abegg-Werter
    • 1
  • J. M. M. Raemaekers
    • 1
  • B. E. de Pauw
    • 1
  • C. Haanen
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Hematology, Department of MedicineUniversity Hospital NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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