Fourteen patients with persistent epithelial ovarian cancer documented at second look laparotomy after combination chemotherapy were treated with 146 cycles of alpha-recombinant interferon (rIFN-alpha 2) administered i.p. The initial dose was 5 X 10(6) units which was escalated weekly to 50 X 10(6) units over 4 weeks and then continued weekly for a total of 16 weeks. Eleven patients underwent surgical reevaluation after therapy which confirmed four pathological complete responses (36%), one partial response (9%), and disease progression in six patients (55%). Five of seven patients (71%) with residual tumor less than 5 mm had a surgically documented response, whereas there was no response in the four patients whose tumors were greater than or equal to 5 mm. Three patients were evaluable for clinical response only: one patient who refused surgery had a complete clinical response with total resolution of ascites; one had stable disease; and one had disease progression. Fever greater than or equal to 38 degrees C was seen in 58%, fever greater than or equal to 39.0 degrees C was seen in 18%, vomiting in 37%, abdominal pain was reported in 22%, and one patient had infectious peritonitis. Peripheral white blood cell counts and i.p. washings were obtained pretreatment and on days 1, 3, and 7 after treatment. While there was no consistent alteration in peripheral white blood cell counts, the numbers of i.p. monocytes and lymphocytes showed a significant boost on day 1 after each dose of rIFN-alpha 2. Natural killer lymphocyte cytotoxicity was elevated in the i.p. cavity fluid obtained from most patients on day 1 after treatment, while blood natural killer lymphocyte cytotoxicity values showed considerable variability. Pharmacokinetic studies show that i.p. levels of rIFN-alpha 2 were 30-1000 times blood levels. rIFN-alpha 2 i.p. may act by increasing concentrations of drug and augmenting regional host cells in patients with minimal residual ovarian cancer.
View details for Web of Science ID A1985APR5700073
View details for PubMedID 4028027