Background/aim: Interferon alpha (IFNα) is used sparingly in the management of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) due to toxicity and perceived limited efficacy. Other medical therapeutic options include somatostatin analogues and molecular-targeted agents, as well as chemotherapy and radionuclide targeted-therapy. The aim of the present study was to perform a retrospective analysis of patients treated with IFNα.
Patients and methods: Patients were identified from the NET database. Radiological, biochemical and symptomatic response were assessed. Progression-free survival (PFS), adverse events and toxicities were recorded.
Results: Thirty-five patients were treated with IFNα, with a mean age of 60.1 (range=38-85) years; eight patients (23%) withdrew before 3 months, one (3%) had complete response; there was one partial response; 25 patients (71%) had at least three months of stable disease. The median PFS was 25 months.
Conclusion: IFNα demonstrated efficacy and was reasonably tolerated. IFNα may still have a role in small-volume diffuse disease, in syndromic patients where there is resistance to somatostatin analogue, or as a bridge to other therapies.
Keywords: Interferon-alpha; neuroendocrine tumours.
Copyright© 2014 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.