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Type I interferon receptor in peripheral blood mononuclear cells may predict response to intra-arterial 5-fluorouracil + interferon therapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Tomiyama, Yoshioka, Yanai, Kawase, Nishina, Hara, Yoshida, Korenaga, Korenaga, Hino K

Published 26 April 2011 Volume 2011:3 Pages 45—52


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Yasuyuki Tomiyama1, Naoko Yoshioka1, Yoshiaki Yanai2,3, Tomoya Kawase1, Sohji Nishina1, Yuichi Hara1, Koji Yoshida1, Keiko Korenaga1, Masaaki Korenaga1, Keisuke Hino1
1Department of Hepatology and Pancreatology, Kawasaki Medical University, Kurashiki, Japan; 2Institute of Fujisaki, Hayashibara Biochemical Lab Inc, Okayama, Japan; 3Pharmaceutical Marketing Division, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Tokyo, Japan

Background: Type 1 interferon alpha receptor 2 (IFNAR2) in the liver has been reported to be a predictive factor for the response to intra-arterial 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) + systemic interferon (IFN)-alpha combination therapy in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. We tested whether IFNAR2 expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells could predict the response to 5-FU + IFN.
Methods: Predictive factors for survival and response to therapy were determined in 30 patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma who underwent treatment with 5-FU + IFN. IFNAR2 expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was measured in 11 of the 30 patients.
Results: With a mean number of 4.2 courses of combination therapy, one patient (3%) showed a complete response, eight (27%) showed partial responses, 13 (43%) had stable disease, and eight (27%) showed progressive disease. The median survival time of responders (complete response/partial response) was 12.7 months and that of nonresponders (stable disease/progressive disease) was 7.5 months. The one-year and two-year cumulative survival rates of responders and nonresponders were 87/69% and 40/11%, respectively (P = 0.019). Multivariate analysis identified response to therapy (P = 0.037) as the sole independent determinant of survival. The expression level of IFNAR2 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was significantly (P = 0.012) higher in responders (6.5 ± 2.4) than in nonresponders (2.4 ± 0.6), even though no clinical factors were identified as being associated with the response to the combination therapy.
Conclusion: IFNAR2 expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells may predict the response to 5-FU + IFN therapy in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, although these data are preliminary.

Keywords: interferon, 5-fluorouracil, hepatocellular carcinoma, receptor

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