RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Apoptosis in alpha interferon (IFN-alpha) intratumoral chemotherapy for cystic craniopharyngiomas.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to verify whether intracystic injections of alpha-Interferon (IFN-alpha) in cystic craniopharyngiomas were able to reduce the tumor by activating the Fas apoptotic pathway.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-one patients with cystic craniopharyngiomas treated at the Pediatric Oncology Institute (IOP/GRAACC) of Federal University of São Paulo were submitted to intracystic chemotherapy with IFN-alpha. The tumor sizes of all patients were monitored and the apoptotic factor soluble FasL (sFasL) concentration was determined by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) in tumor fluid samples from eight patients.

RESULTS: There was a complete reduction in 11 patients, a partial response in seven, and a minor response in three patients. The concentration of sFasL was increased in all the eight patients examined concomitantly with the tumor size reduction.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrated that the IFN-alpha was able to induce Fas-mediated apoptosis together with a reduction in the tumor size; such an observation may suggest the importance to investigate still unexplored mechanisms to be exploited in craniopharyngioma therapy.

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