Interferon-α in oncology patients: Fewer psychiatric side effects than anticipated

Marjolein Bannink, Wim H.J. Kruit, Arthur R. Van Gool, Stefan Sleijfer, Bronno Van Der Holt, Alexander M.M. Eggermont, Gerrit Stoter, Michiel W. Hengeveld

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

16 Citaten (Scopus)


Interferon-α (IFN-α) treatment in both oncological and hepatological settings is associated with depression. If IFN-α treatment induces depression in high numbers, it could serve as a model for studying the pathophysiology of depression, in general. The authors therefore studied 43 oncology patients treated with standard or pegylated IFN-α with baseline psychiatric assessment and at regular time-points in the first 6 months of treatment. Apart from a severe depression because of brain metastases, authors observed only two clinically relevant depressive states. Contrary to findings in most of the literature, most depressive episodes in this study were self-limiting and short-lasting and were associated with either episodes of flu-like symptoms common at the start of the treatment or with concurrent psychosocial events. In the group as a whole, scores on both observer-based and self-report rating scales did not show clinically relevant changes. The results of this study indicate that IFN-α treatment is not suitable as a study model for depression in general.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)56-63
Aantal pagina's8
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusGepubliceerd - 2008
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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