Influence of interferon-α treatment outcome in polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia by genetic polymorphism in IL28B

Marie Lindgren, Helna Pettersson, Johan Westin, Magnus Lindh, Peter Johansson, Björn Andreasson


Background: Interferon-α (IFN-α) is a therapeutic option in high risk patients with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs). The response to IFN-α treatment of chronic hepatitis C was shown to be strongly influenced by several related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in a region adjacent to the IL28B gene. The objective of this study was to investigate the possibility of similar influence of IL28B gene polymorphism in IFN-α treated MPN patients.

Methods: 20 patients with polycythemia vera (PV) or essential thrombocythemia (ET) treated with IFN-α included, 7 were earlier treated with hydroxyurea. Hematologic response was evaluated using the European Leukemia Net (ELN) criteria. DNA from whole blood samples was isolated using MagNA Pure LC DNA Isolation Kit I for IL28B genotyping, and the variability at rs12979860, rs12980275 and rs8099917 were determined by allelic discrimination assays using Taqman minor groove binding probes.

Results: The IFN-α treatment reduced platelet count (p<0.05), and in patients with polycythemia vera (PV) also hemoglobin, hematocrit and white blood cell counts declined (p<0.05). Hematologic response by ELN criteria was significantly influenced by the IL28B SNP. Among 20 patients with PV or ET, the CC genotype at rs12979860 was found in 8/11 patients (73%) with hematologic CR as compared with 1/9 (11%) with PR or NR (p=0.010).

Conclusion: The results in this pilot study indicate that variation in IL28B genotype might influence hematologic response in IFN-α treated MPN patients.

Full Text:



Journal of Hematological Malignancies
ISSN 1925-4024 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4032 (Online)
Copyright © Sciedu Press  
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders