Drawbacks

Toxicity and withdrawal rates have been high in the high-dose interferon studies. In one study46 there were two treatment-related deaths. In the latest study48 10% of patients discontinued treatment because of adverse advents, but there were no treatment-related deaths. The most frequent side-effects in patients receiving highdose interferon alfa-2b were fatigue in 20%, granulocytopenia/leucopenia in over 50%, and liver abnormalities and neurological toxicity in about 30%.

In the low-dose interferon trials about 10% of people suffered significant toxicity as well as the milder nausea and flu-like symptoms experienced by most patients on the day of treatment.

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