Alpha-interferon in superficial bladder cancer: A northern California oncology group study

F. M. Torti, L. D. Shortliffe, R. D. Williams, W. C. Pitts, R. L. Kempson, J. C. Ross, J. Palmer, F. Meyers, M. Ferrari, J. Hannigan, R. Spiegel, K. McWhirter, F. Freiha

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132 Scopus citations


Thirty-five patients with superficial transitional carcinoma of the bladder were treated intravesically with escalating doses of recombinant α-2-interferon administered weekly for 8 weeks. Of the 19 patients with high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (17 carcinoma in situ [CIS], two severe dysplasia, all cytology positive), six (32%) had complete resolution of all histologic and cytologic evidence of disease (complete response). An additional three patients (16%) had complete resolution of CIS, but the interval appearance of a low-grade transitional cell neoplasm. Five (26%) had a partial response (complete resolution of all evidence of CIS on multiple bladder biopsies but persistently positive cytologic preparations). Sixteen patients with recurrent papillary tumors and extensive prior therapy were also treated. Four (25%) had a complete response. Twenty-three of the 35 patients had prior intravesical therapy. Seven of the 23 (30%) patients with prior intravesical chemotherapy or immunotherapy had a complete or partial response to interferon, while eight of the 12 patients (67%) without prior intravesical treatment responded. These responses were achieved with minimal local and systemic toxicity. Of the ten complete responders, five remain in continuous unmaintained remission for 18+ to 37+ months. Intracavitary α-2-interferon is an effective new treatment for some patients with bladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-483
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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