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Keywords:

  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma;
  • interferon-α;
  • combination chemotherapy;
  • hematology

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Advanced stage, follicular, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) has no cure and no single standard of care. Remissions induced by standard chemotherapy regimens generally are not durable and, with the exception of selected patients with limited early stage disease, most patients with follicular NHL eventually die of their disease. Recombinant interferon-α (rIFN-α) has demonstrated activity against follicular NHL in clinical trials.

METHODS

A comprehensive survey of current therapeutic options for follicular NHL patients was conducted with emphasis on the role of rIFN-α used in conjunction with chemotherapy regimens.

RESULTS

Phase III studies have demonstrated that rIFN-α delays disease progression and may improve overall survival when administered either with chemotherapy or as maintenance therapy after induction treatment for follicular lymphoma. Adverse effects from combination or maintenance regimens are not significantly different from those from chemotherapy alone.

CONCLUSIONS

Recombinant IFN-α is safe and effective when given in conjunction with standard chemotherapeutic regimens in selected patients with follicular NHL, and may especially benefit patients with minimal residual disease after induction chemotherapy. Cancer 1998;82:1821-30. © 1998 American Cancer Society.