We treated seven patients who had progressive hairy-cell leukemia with daily doses of 3 million units of partially pure alpha (leukocyte) interferon by the intramuscular route. Three patients had a complete remission, and four had a partial remission, according to strict criteria for a response. After treatment, bone-marrow aspirates showed an absence of leukemia cells in three patients and 5 per cent or fewer in three others. Normalization of subnormal peripheral-blood values occurred in six of six patients with anemia, in seven of seven with granulocytopenia, and in four of four with thrombocytopenia. Remissions have been maintained for over 6 to over 10 months. Alpha interferon appears to be highly effective in patients with hairy-cell leukemia.
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