Suppression of cytogenetic clonal evolution with interferon alfa therapy in patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia

Jorge Cortes, Moshe Talpaz, Susan O'Brien, Mary Beth Rios, Alejandro Majlis, Michael Keating, Emil J. Freireich, Hagop Kantarjian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate whether cytogenetic clonal evolution can be suppressed with interferon alfa (IFN-α) therapy in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Patients and Methods: Ninety patients with CML and cytogenetic clonal evolution who received IFN-α-based regimens were analyzed. Clonal evolution was defined as the presence of karyotypic abnormalities in addition to the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome. Patients were evaluated for the suppression of cytogenetic clonal evolution after therapy, the cytogenetic response, and survival. Results: The median age of the population was 39 years (range, 15 to 70 years), median time from diagnosis to clonal evolution 14 months (range, 0 to 145 months), and median percentage of abnormal metaphases 18% (range, 4% to 100%). Fifty six patients (62%) achieved some suppression of cytogenetic clonal evolution; in 41 patients (46%), the suppression was complete. The overall median survival was 51 months, with 43% alive at 5 years. Patients who achieved a complete suppression of cytogenetic clonal evolution had a median survival of 66 months, with 51% alive at 5 years. Characteristics associated with a better response include a lower percentage of abnormal metaphases, time to cytogenetic clonal evolution of 24 months or less, and absence of other features of accelerated disease. A prognostic classification for cytogenetic clonal evolution defined three groups with complete response (CR) rates of 85%, 34%, and 0% (P < .0001) and median survival times of 58, 31, and 30 months, respectively (P: .02). Conclusion: Patients with cytogenetic clonal evolution can respond to IFN-α therapy, and this response is associated with longer survival. A previously described prognostic model separates patients into subsets with different probabilities of response to IFN-α and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3279-3285
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this