Interferon alpha-2a

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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IFN α-2a; IFN-α-2a; INF alpha-2a; interferon alpha-2a; interferon-alpha-2a; Interferon-α-2a

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5 h

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Philadelphia-chromosome positive CML in the chronic phase, cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, hair cell leukemia, HIV-associated Kaposi sarcoma, malignant melanoma. In studies (off-label use) effective in treating mucocutaneous lesions of Behçet's disease.

Limited indication
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Pregnancy, lactation, mild to moderate kidney, liver and bone marrow dysfunction.

Pregnancy/nursing period
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Due to its antiviral and antiproliferative properties, the risk of miscarriage and teratogenicity is increased. It is now known that the penetration of the placental barrier is limited due to the high molecular weight (20,000 Daltons). At present, it is not possible to formulate clear statements due to a lack of data.

Dosage and method of use
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3-9 million IU 3 times/week s.c., other dosage depending on the corresponding therapy protocol.

Notice! Repeated administration of high doses may result in deep lethargy, fatigue, severe exhaustion and coma. After discontinuing the preparation, these side effects will disappear within a few days!

Undesirable effects
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Flu-like symptoms (attenuation by administration of 1000 mg paracetamol 1 hour before IFN), leukopenia or thrombopenia, gastrointestinal complaints, nephrotic syndrome, allergic reactions, hair loss, hyperhidrosis, worsening of psoriasis vulgaris, arrhythmias, dizziness, visual disturbances, depression.

Notice! Treatment should be discontinued if severe reactions such as leukopenia, granulopenia and/or thrombopenia occur!

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Cytostatic drugs and retinoids lead to a mutual increase in toxicity, folinic acid can trigger a graft-versus-host reaction.

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Children and adolescents < 18 years of age, immunosuppressive therapy, CML patients who have an HLA-identical relative and in whom a bone marrow transplant is planned or appears possible.

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Roferon A

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A loss of MTAP expression ( methylthioadenosine phosphorylase) is detected in vitro and in vivo in some malignant melanomas. This loss seems to correlate with a worse response to interferon therapy.

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  2. Fried MW et al (2002) Peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C virus infection. N Engl J Med 347: 975-982
  3. Garcia-Manero G et al (2003) Treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia with weekly polyethylene glycol formulation of interferon-alpha-2b and low-dose cytosine arabinoside. Cancer 97: 3010-3016
  4. Egbert F et al (2006) Diagnostic and therapeutic measures in the treatment of malignant melanoma during pregnancy: Risk to the fetus? Case report and literature review. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 4: 717-720
  5. Kirkwood JM et al (2002) Interferon alfa-2a for melanoma metastases. Lancet 359: 978-379
  6. Stubiger N et al (2001) Behcet's disease: uveitis-therapy with interferon alpha2a - prospective clinical study in 33 patients. Clin Monatsbl Ophthalmology 218: 768-773
  7. Wheatley K et al (2002) Interferon as adjuvant treatment for melanoma. Lancet 360: 878
  8. Wild PJ et al (2007) Methylthioadenosine phophorylase (MTAP): Potential marker for a response to interferon therapy in malignant melanoma. JDDG 6: 456-459
  9. Wollina U et al (2001) Treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma stage II with interferon-alpha-2a and extracorporeal photochemotherapy: a prospective controlled trial. Ann N Y Acad Sci 941: 210-213


Last updated on: 29.10.2020