Backgrounds. A possible cause of relapses in patients with malignant lymphomas after autologous transplantation
of haematopoietic cells is among others the absence of an immune reaction. The objective of the present study was
to assess the effect of long-term interferon alpha administration after autologous transplantation in malignant
Methods and Results. A total of 16 patients were followed up (9 men and 6 women, mean age 44 years) 14 with
non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and two with Hodgkin’s disease where after high-dose transplantation with autologous
transplantation of haematopoietic cells immunotherapy was started by administration of IFN alpha 3 MU three time
per week. The treatment was well tolerated, only in two patients (12.5%) the doses had to be reduced or temporality
discontinued. The results were compared with a control group (16 subjects, 12 men, 4 women, mean age 43 years
and similar other characteristics as the followed up group) who were not given IFN alpha after transplantation.
The controls were paired with regard to the condition after transplantation, grade of pretreatment, diagnosis and
age. In the group treated with IFN alpha five relapses developed and two deaths occurred, in the control group four
relapses and three deaths. The probability of survival without signs of progression (PFS) and total survival (OS)
within 18 months is in the treated group 67.4% and 88.9%, in the control group 86.5% and 93.8%. The results are
not statistically significant.
Conclusions. The authors confirmed in their study the feasibility of long-term administration of IFN alpha after
transplantation. On a preliminary basis it may be stated that the results did not differ in the treated and not treated
patients, nevertheless the impact of this type of immunotherapy or its modification will have to be evaluated in
a randomized study.
malignant lymphoma, transplantation, relapse, immunotherapy, interferon alpha, NHL, Hodgkin,
transplantation, immunotherapy, interferon alpha, IFN alpha, case control study.