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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology
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Year : 1999  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-15

Interferon alpha-2B in patients of acute lymphoblastic leukemia afflicted with chronic hepatitis B : early observations.

1 Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute, NCH Campus, Asarwa, Amadawad 380 016, India

Correspondence Address:
KP Sajnani
Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute, NCH Campus, Asarwa, Amadawad 380 016, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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AIM: To investigate the efficacy and safely of interferon (IFN) therapy in patients with acute lymphatic leukaemia (ALL) with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). PATIENTS & METHODS: 22 patients of ALL, who were in complete remission after completion of the planned treatment and with HBsAG and HBeAg positive reports for more than 6 months, received IFN in 2 dose schedules (1) 3 miu subcutaneously (SC) daily for 4 weeks and 3 miu subcutaneously twice in a week for 12 weeks (2) 3 miu SC twice in a week for 16 weeks. Eighteen were males and 4 were females, aged from 7 years to 19 years (Median 13 years). Pretreatment serum alamine aminotransferase (ALT) was normal in 9 and elevated in 13. HBV DNA was positive in all patients. Median follow up was 13.6 months (range : 8 months to 36 months). RESULTS: Normalisation of ALT occured in 8 of 13 (61.5 percent) patients with elevated values before the administration of interferon. Mean time to achieve normalisation of ALT was 6.2 months after start of IFN. Eight of 22 patients (36 percent) became HBeAg negative and 2 of 6 patients, who were tested by HBV-DNA, became HBV-DNA negative after treatment. The only side effect observed was fever in 4 patients and it was managed with paracetamol. This study showed : (1) a good rate of biochemical and virologic response to IFN in patients of ALL with CHB. (2) Response to IFN was dependent on pretreatment ALT values. CONCLUSIONS: IFN is safe and effective in patients of ALL afflicted with CHB.

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