The Italian Journal of Neurological Sciences

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 163–168 | Cite as

Local immunotherapy (β-IFN) and systemic chemotherapy in primary glial tumors

  • Boiardi A. 
  • Silvani A. 
  • Milanesi I. 
  • Munari L. 
  • Broggi G. 
  • Botturi M. 
Original Articles


Dosage and schedules for the treatment of malignant glial tumors using IFN (interferon) are still uncertain and controversial. In this study we give the preliminary results of treatment in 28 patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). 6 patients were treated with local injection of β-IFN through an Ommaya reservoir; 4 patients with β-IFN followed by systemic chemotherapy (Cisplatin+Etoposide), and 18 patients with chemotherapy only. Two end points were evaluated: 1) Whether or not the patients responded to treatment. 2) Length of Time to Tumor Progression(TTP) after surgery. We found that IFN alone was ineffective. Results were improved when local immunotherapy was associated with systemic chemotherapy. New drugs and investigation of possible pharmacological synergism are needed.

Key Words

Interferon chemotherapy glial tumor 


In questo studio preliminare vengono presi in considerazione 28 pazienti affetti da glioblastoma multiforme. Un primo gruppo di sei pazienti è stato sottoposto esclusivamente ad immunoterapia locoregionale con β-INF. Un secondo gruppo di quattro pazienti è stato sottoposto a immunoterapia locoregionale con β-INF in associazione a chemioterapia sistemica (cis-platino+etoposide). Il Time to tumor progression dei primi due gruppi di pazienti è stato confrontato con quello di un terzo gruppo di diciotto pazienti trattati con chemioterapia sistemica.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Boethius J., Bloringer H., Collins V.P.:The effects of systemic human interferon alpha administration to patients with glioblastoma multiforme. Acta Neurochir. 68:239–251 1983.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Bonnem E.:Alpha IFN: a look to the future. J. Invest. New Drugs vol 5, suppl. 65–75, 1987.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Bradley N.J., Darling J.L., Oktar N.:The failure of human leukocyte interferon to influence the growth of human glioma cell populations: in vitro and in vivo studies. Br. J. Cancer 48:819–825, 1983.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Buckner J., Brown L., Cacsino T., Ofallon J., Cullinan S., Foley J.:recombinant alpha-IFN and BCNU in recurrent gliomas. J. Proc. Asco: vol 7, 83–91 1988.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Genka S., Shitara N., Tsujita Y., Kosugi Y., Takakura K.:Effect of IFN-β on the cell cycle of human glioma cell line U-251 MG: flow cytometric two-dimensional (BrdU/DNA) analysis. J. Neuro Oncology 6:299–307, 1988.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Gresser I., Maury C., Tovery M.:Efficacy of combined Interferon cyclophosphamide therapy after diagnosis of lymphoma in AKR mice. Eur J. Cancer 14:97–99, 1978.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    Hamada H., Asakura Y., Maeda Y., Yokoyama S., Niiro M.:A study of direct antitumor activity of alpha-IFN against Human glioma. Jpn. J. Cancer Chemoter. 13 (3) 464–471 1986.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Karosue K., Takeshita I., Mannoji H. et al:Interferon effects on multiplication, cytoplasmic protein and GFAP content, and morphology in human glioma cells. J. Neurooncol 1:69–76, 1983.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Lundblad D., Lundgren E.:Block of glioma cell line in S by interferon. Int: J. Cancer 27:749–754, 1981.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Maluish A., Ontaldo J.R., Conlon J.C.:Depression of natural killer cytotoxicity after in vivo administration of recombinant leukocyte interferon. J Immunol 131:503, 1983.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Nagai M., Arai T.:Clinical effect of interferon in malignant brain tumors. J. Neurosurg. Rev 7:55–64, 1984.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Nagai M., Arai T.:Interferon therapy for malignant brain tumors: present and future. No Shinkei Geka 10:463–476, 1982.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Nagai M., Arai T., Watanabe K.:Clinical use of IFN in the treatment of malignant brain tumors. J. Neuro Oncol 5:177–182, 1987.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    Nakagaka Y.:Interferon therapy for primary brain tumors: DNA analysis and mean survival time. J. Neurologia medico-chirurgica (Tokyo) Vol 24:90–96, 1984.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Nakamura O., Teramoto A., Yamamoto H. et al:Effect of human fibroblast interferon on malignant brain tumors. No To Shinkei 35:905–911, 1983.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    Otsuka S., Handa H., Yamasyta K., Suda K., Takeuchi J.:Single agent therapy of IFN for brain tumors: correlation between NK activity and clinical course. Acta Neurochirurgica 73:13–23, 1984.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    Otsuka S., Yamashita J., Keyaki A., Handa H.:Interferon-α: a therapy for patients with malignant brain tumors. J. Gan. To. Kagaku Chiryo 5:1084–1091, 1984.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Yoshida J., Kageyama N.:Combination of IFN-ACNU-Radiation for postoperative adjuvant therapy against malignant glioma J. Neuro Oncol 5:188–194, 1987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    Yoshida J., Wakabayashi T., Kato K., Enomoto H., Kito A., Kageyama N.:Combination therapy with IFN-β, ACNU and radiation for malignant brain tumors. J. Gan: to Kagaru Ryoho 13 (3) 520–524, 1986.Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    Yung W., Castellanos A., Van Tassel P., Moser R., Marcus S.:Recombinant IFN-β (and natural IFN-β) given intravenously in patients with recurrent malignant gliomas, J. Neuro Oncol. 5:190–194, 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Masson Italia Periodici S.r.l. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boiardi A. 
    • 1
  • Silvani A. 
    • 1
  • Milanesi I. 
    • 1
  • Munari L. 
    • 1
  • Broggi G. 
    • 1
  • Botturi M. 
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale Neurologico “C. Besta”Milano
  2. 2.Servizio di RadioterapiaEnte Ospedaliero “Ca' Granda” NiguardaMilano

Personalised recommendations