, Volume 9, Issue 1–3, pp 109–115 | Cite as

Transfer factor with anti-EBV activity as an adjuvant therapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma: A pilot study

  • Umapati Prasad
  • Mohd Amin bin Jalaludin
  • Pathmanathan Rajadurai
  • Giancarlo Pizza
  • Caterina De Vinci
  • Dimitri Viza
  • Paul H. Levine


Overall survival of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) at UICC stage IV still remains unsatisfactory even with combination chemotherapy (CT) and radio-therapy (RT). In view of the association of reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) with the development and recurrence of NPC, immunotherapy in the form of transfer factor (TF) with specific activity against EBV (TF-B1) was suggested as an adjuvant to a combination of CT and RT in order to improve survival. In the present study, 6 UICC Stage IV patients received TF-B1 and another 6 patients matched for disease stage were given TF prepared from peripheral blood leucocytes (TF-PBL). Results were compared with another 18 patients matched by age, sex, and stage of disease who received standard therapy without TF during the same period (C group). After a median follow up of 47.5 months, the survival for the TF-B1 group was found to be significantly better (P=<0.05) than the PBL and C group. While the 8 patients with distant metastasis (DM), not treated with TF-B1 (6 in the control and 2 in the PBL group), died due to progressive disease (average survival being 14.3 months), both patients with DM in the TF-B1 group had complete remission: one died of tuberculosis after surviving for 3.5 years and another is still alive, disease free, after 4.2 years. Although the series involved a small number of cases, the apparent effect of adjuvant immunotherapy in the form of TF with anti-EBV activity is of considerable interest.

Key words

Cell-mediated immunity Epstein-Barr virus nasopharyngeal carcinoma transfer factor 



Antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity

C group

Control group


Cell-mediated immunity




Distant metastasis


Epstein-Barr virus


5 fluorouracil


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma


Neck node(s)




Transfer factor


Transfer factor with specific activity against EBV


“Unspecific” transfer factor, i.e., of unknown specificities, prepared from peripheral blood leucocytes of blood donors




Viral capsid antigen


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Umapati Prasad
    • 1
  • Mohd Amin bin Jalaludin
    • 1
  • Pathmanathan Rajadurai
    • 1
  • Giancarlo Pizza
    • 2
  • Caterina De Vinci
    • 2
  • Dimitri Viza
    • 3
  • Paul H. Levine
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.University of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Sant ’Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly
  3. 3.CNRS URA 1294, Laboratoire d’ImmunobiologieFaculté de Médecine des Saints-PèresParisFrance
  4. 4.National Institutes of HealthBethesda
  5. 5.George Washington University Cancer CenterWashington, DCUSA

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