Alpha interferon for induction of remission in hairy-cell leukemia

N Engl J Med. 1984 Jan 5;310(1):15-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198401053100104.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infections / complications
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Interferon Type I / administration & dosage
  • Interferon Type I / therapeutic use*
  • Leukemia, Hairy Cell / blood
  • Leukemia, Hairy Cell / pathology
  • Leukemia, Hairy Cell / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Interferon Type I