We report the disease characteristics and therapeutic results for 25 patient suffering from essential thrombocythaemia (ET), treated with recombinant in terferon-alpha-2b (IFN-α2b). ET was diagnosed according to the criteria·the Polycythaemia Vera Study Group. All patients were programmed to re ceive a subcutaneous induction treatment consisting of 3 MU of IFN-α2b daily for 6 months. In responding patients, treatment was continued for a further months with 3 MU of IFN-α2b three times a week. Complete response wa achieved in 13 of 25 patients, partial response in 10 of 25. In 2 cases, therapy wa unsuccessful. Side effects were usually mild, consisting of flu-like symptoms in most cases, and were easily controlled by paracetamol. After a median follow-up of 14 months after discontinuation of the treatment, most patients re tained the therapeutic response in the absence of toxicity.

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