Use of interferon alpha in intratumoral chemotherapy for cystic craniopharyngioma

Childs Nerv Syst. 2005 Aug;21(8-9):719-24. doi: 10.1007/s00381-005-1226-1. Epub 2005 Jun 14.


Objectives: This study analyzed the intratumoral activity of interferon alpha (IFN-alpha) in the treatment of cystic craniopharyngiomas.

Patients and methods: From January 2000 to January 2004, nine patients presenting with cystic craniopharyngiomas were treated with intratumoral injection of IFN-alpha at the Pediatric Oncology Institute of the Federal University of São Paulo-Escola Paulista de Medicina. Age ranged from 1 year and 10 months to 18 years (mean 10 years). All intratumoral catheters were inserted by a subfrontal approach. Doses varied from 36 to 108 MU.

Results: There was complete disappearance of the lesion in seven cases. In two cases, partial reduction of tumor size was observed at follow-up. Follow-up varied from 1 year to 3 years and 6 months (mean 1 year 8 months).

Conclusions: IFN-alpha proved to be an effective drug in the control of cystic craniopharyngiomas. Additional studies should be carried out to determine the optimal dose of IFN-alpha in the treatment of cystic craniopharyngioma. In addition, other drugs possessing high efficacy and low neurotoxicity should be analyzed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniopharyngioma / drug therapy*
  • Cysts / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Radiography / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Interferon-alpha