Clinical Use of Interferons in the Treatment of Malignant Brain Tumors

  • M. Nagai
Part of the Developments in Medical Virology book series (DIMV, volume 4)


A phase II study was conducted to evaluate clinical effectiveness of α, β and γ-type interferons (IFN) in the treatment of patients with malignant brain tumors. Of 46 cases of glioblastoma and malignant astrocytoma treated, satisfactory therapeutic responses were noted in 13 cases (28.3%) and also 3 of 7 cases of medulloblastoma. There was no significant difference in response rate between systemic administration and local (intratumoral or intrathecal) administration, nor between patients of fresh cases and those of recurrent tumors. The response rate was highest with β-IFN but did not significantly differ from that with α-IFN. With the γ-type IFN, efficacy in reduction of tumor size was low but immunologic parameters showed greater response.

As for side-effects, fever was fairly frequent but only rarely serious. There were only mild degrees of bone marrow suppression and liver dysfunction, and impairment of renal function was scarcely encountered. The results thus indicate that IFN therapy can be appraised as a useful adjunct to treatment of malignant brain tumors. Its application in combination with radiotherapy and chemotherapy may enhance the antitumor efficacy. The data also suggest its possible usefulness in long-term maintenance therapy for malignant brain tumors.


Malignant Glioma Systemic Administration Malignant Brain Tumor Leptomeningeal Metastasis Recurrent Malignant Glioma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Nagai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryDokkyo University School of MedicineMibu, TochigiJapan

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