Head and neck cancer
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Although the drug OK-432 can induce the release of γ-interferon (IFN-γ), the serum concentrations of IFN-γ produced are very low. We studied the effects of combining OK-432 with α-interferon (IFN-α) on the endogenous production of IFN and the postoperative courses of patients with oral cavity cancers. Forty patients operated on for head and neck cancers were studied. Each patient was given an injection of OK-432 1 week after surgery. Between 10 and 14 days later, a combination of OK-432 and IFN-α was given to assess the effects of the concomitant use of IFN-α on IFN production. In 18 of the 30 patients given a large dose of IFN-α (3 or 5×106 IU/ mg protein), IFN production induced by OK-432 was enhanced. A small dose of IFN-α (7×103 IU) did not enhance the action of OK-432. OK-432 also induced the release of both endogenous IFN-γ and IFN-α, and the production of both types of IFN was enhanced by the concomitant administration of parenteral IFN-α. Next, 50 patients operated on for oral cavity cancers were given OK-432 or a combination of OK-432 and IFN-α for 4 months, and their postoperative courses were followed for 2–5 years. The clinical courses were better in the combined therapy group than in the group given OK-432 alone.
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