Researchers from France investigated the association between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.
Some 9 patients with splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes and HCV infection were included in the study.
They were treated with interferon alfa-2b (3 million IU, 3 times per week) alone or in combination with ribavirin (1000 to 1200 mg per day).
The outcomes were compared with those of 6 similarly treated patients with splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes, who tested negative for HCV infection.
|Lymphoma remission after interferon therapy:|
| New England Journal of Medicine |
Of the 9 patients with HCV infection who received interferon alfa, 7 had a complete remission after the loss of detectable HCV RNA.
The other 2 patients had a partial and a complete remission after the addition of ribavirin and the loss of detectable HCV RNA.
One patient had a relapse when the HCV RNA load again became detectable in blood.
In contrast, none of the 6 HCV-negative patients had a response to interferon therapy.
Dr Olivier Hermine, of the Necker Hospital, Paris, concluded on behalf of his group, "In patients with splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes who are infected with HCV, treatment with interferon can lead to regression of the lymphoma."