Development of systemic lupus erythematosus after interferon therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia

Cancer. 1991 Oct 1;68(7):1536-7. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19911001)68:7<1536::aid-cncr2820680713>;2-b.


A 19-year-old man with Philadelphia-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia treated with interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) therapy for 45 months had systemic lupus erythematosus disease features: malar rash, migratory arthralgias, elevated antinuclear antibodies, elevated antinative DNA, hypocomplementemia, lymphopenia, and proteinuria. After discontinuation of the IFN and initiation of corticosteroids, there was gradual recovery of symptoms, a decline in antinative DNA and antinuclear antibodies to normal levels, and a decrease in proteinuria. The potential association between IFN therapy and the development of systemic lupus erythematosus, and the role of IFN in other autoimmune diseases, is discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / adverse effects*
  • Interferon Type I / therapeutic use
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / therapy*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / chemically induced*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Remission Induction


  • Interferon Type I
  • Recombinant Proteins