ZDN/IFN-α Ups Survival in T-Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma

Combination of zidovudine, interferon α with chemo prolongs survival in acute, lymphoma ATLL

THURSDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Use of zidovudine (ZDN) and interferon alfa (IFN-α) with chemotherapy (combined first-line therapy) prolongs survival in patients with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL), according to a study published online Oct. 31 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Andrew Hodson, M.D., from St. Mary's Hospital in London, and colleagues investigated the clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment, and outcomes of patients with aggressive ATLL, and the impact of ZDV/IFN-α on treatment response and survival. A total of 73 patients with aggressive ATLL, including 29 patients with acute ATLL and 44 patients with lymphoma ATLL who were diagnosed and treated between 1999 and 2009, were included.

The investigators found that the overall response ranged from 49 to 81 percent with chemotherapy alone and combined first-line therapy, respectively. The median overall survival (OS) was nine months for the entire cohort, and was 7.5 and 10 months for acute ATLL and lymphoma ATLL, respectively. Use of ZDN/IFN-α at any time was associated with significantly prolonged survival for both acute and lymphoma ATLL. ZDN/IFN-α was identified as the only factor which correlated with a reduction in the risk of death in aggressive ATLL (hazard ratio, 0.23). Compared with chemotherapy alone, combined first-line therapy significantly prolonged median OS in acute and lymphoma ATLL.

"These data support the use of low-dose ZDV/IFN-α with chemotherapy in first-line treatment of acute and lymphoma ATLL," the authors write.

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