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Intralesional recombinant interferon alpha-2b in Peyronie's disease.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate interferon alpha-2b (IFN) in the treatment of Peyronie's disease (PD) since IFN exerts antifibrotic action through collagen synthesis inhibition and fibrolysis stimulation.

METHODS: The study comprised 34 patients, aged 31 to 63, with clinical and ultrasonographic (US) diagnosis of PD, who gave their consent to enter the study. They had the disease for 10.1 +/- 5.6 (2-22) months. Ten million IU of IFN were injected intralesionally, twice weekly for 14 weeks or less if there was complete remission. Clinical evaluation included penis angle at erection, sexual dysfunction (pain, possibility of intercourse) and palpable plaque. Plaque size was evaluated by US. Systemic and local adverse reactions, and anti-IFN antibodies were monitored as well.

RESULTS: Sexual dysfunction disappeared in 19/24 (79.2%) patients with this disorder, palpable lesions in 21/34 (62%), angle at erection in 15/32 (47%), and pain in 16/17 (94%). Complete clinical response was achieved in 16/34 patients (47%). Ultrasonographic response rate was 88%, (53% complete). Plaque size decreased from 56.7 +/- 42.9 (median: 35.4) before treatment to 12.7 +/- 22.6 mm2 (median: 0) (p < 0.00001; Wilcoxon's paired test). Clinical and US responses correlated. No patient showed progression. Eight of 9 patients in whom other treatments had failed responded to IFN therapy (5 complete). The main systemic adverse reaction in most patients (mild or moderate) was the flu-like syndrome expected for IFN. Local reactions, more related to the administration procedure than to IFN itself, were small hematoma (10 patients), edema (3), cysts that were excised surgically (2), and venous leak (1). No patient developed anti-IFN antibodies.

CONCLUSIONS: IFN treatment can be a suitable option for the management of PD. The results appear to be better than those achieved with other procedures. Further work should include comparative studies, long-term follow-up of treated patients, and alternative ways of administration.

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