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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2019, Volume 13, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11684-017-0599-3

Interferon-α salvage treatment is effective for patients with acute leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome with unsatisfactory response to minimal residual disease-directed donor lymphocyte infusion after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

. Peking University People’s Hospital, Peking University Institute of Hematology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Beijing 100044, China.. Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Peking University, Beijing 100044, China

Accepted: 2018-04-16 Available online: 2018-04-16

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The efficacy of salvage interferon-α (IFN-α) treatment was investigated in patients with unsatisfactory response to minimal residual disease (MRD)-directed donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) ( =24). Patients who did not become MRD-negative at 1 month after DLI were those with unsatisfactory response and were eligible to receive salvage IFN-α treatment within 3 months of DLI. Recombinant human IFN-α-2b injections were subcutaneously administered 2–3 times a week for 6 months. Nine (37.5%), 6 (25.0%), and 3 (12.5%) patients became MRD-negative at 1, 2, and>2 months after the salvage IFN-α treatment, respectively. Two-year cumulative incidences of relapse and non-relapse mortality were 35.9% and 8.3%, respectively. Two-year probabilities of event-free survival, disease-free survival, and overall survival were 51.6%, 54.3%, and 68.0%, respectively. Outcomes of patients subjected to salvage IFN-α treatment after DLI were significantly better than those with persistent MRD without IFN-α treatment. Moreover, clinical outcomes were comparable between the salvage DLI and IFN-α treatment groups. Thus, salvage IFN-α treatment may help improve the outcome of patients with unsatisfactory responses to MRD-directed DLI and could be a potential salvage treatment for these patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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