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Biotherapy

, 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
Article

Abstract

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 

Abbreviations

ADCC

Antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity

C group

Control group

CMI

Cell-mediated immunity

CT

Chemotherapy

DM

Distant metastasis

EBV

Epstein-Barr virus

5FU

5 fluorouracil

NPC

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

N

Neck node(s)

RT

Radiotherapy

TF

Transfer factor

TF-B1

Transfer factor with specific activity against EBV

TF-PBL

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

T

Tumour

VCA

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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