Treatment of Peyronie's disease with local interferon-alpha 2b.
Peyronie's disease is an illdefined condition that often leads to severe penile deformity. Various conservative treatments have failed to have any impact, and surgery remains the mainstay of therapy in advanced cases. Recent reports of successful treatment of related diseases, notably keloid formation, with interferons (INF) have prompted us to use this biologic response modifier to alter the behavior of the myofibroblast, the cell most likely responsible for the development of Peyronie's disease. From December 1992 to July 1994, 25 patients suffering from Peyronie's disease were treated with five local injections of 1 million units of INF-alpha 2b each into a single designated and ultrasonographically measured plaque. The interval between the injections was 1 week. The patients were assessed clinically and ultrasonographically 1 and 6 months after the last injection. The condition improved clinically in only 1 case, but progressed in none. The measured plaque size decreased in 7 no or mildly calcified cases, remained stable in 12 cases, and increased in 6 patients, (solely calcified plaques). Side effects (myalgia, fever) occurred in 4 patients; of these 2 patients withdrew from treatment. INF-alpha 2b given according to our regimen is at best usefull for the treatment of Peyronie's disease in the early, noncalcified stage during which it displays verifiable impact on the plaque treated and also helps alleviate the plaque-associated pain; but further dose-finding studies will have to be performed to identify clinically relevant treatment regimens.
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