A phase I/II study of interleukin-3 in patients with aplastic anemia and myelodysplasia

S. D. Nimer, R. L. Paquette, P. Ireland, D. Resta, D. Young, D. W. Golde

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37 Scopus citations


We performed a phase I/II study of recombinant human interleukin-3 (rhIL-3) in 21 patients with aplastic anemia (AA) or myelodysplasia (MDS). Patients received 21-day cycles of IL-3 (0.5, 1.25, 2.5, 5.0, or 10 μg/kg/d) by subcutaneous injection followed by a 10- to 14-day washout period. Nineteen patients completed at least one 21-day cycle of IL-3. Frequent toxicities of IL-3 included headache, low-grade fever, and erythema at the injection site; at higher doses, weight gain and peripheral edema was seen. Eleven patients developed eosinophilia. Of the 20 evaluable patients, eight had increases in absolute neutrophil counts (seven with MDS, one with AA) including six of the nine patients receiving ≥5.0 μg/kg/d. One AA patient became transfusion-independent for 8 months, while another AA patient had decreased transfusion requirements. Three patients with MDS had at least a doubling of their platelet count, and another patient experienced a 1.9-fold increase. One patient with RAEB progressed to aleukemic AML by the end of one treatment cycle. IL-3 was well-tolerated, but multilineage effects were seen in only 25% of patients with primary bone marrow failure states (five of 20 evaluable) and more commonly in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Its optimal use may be as part of combination hematopoietic growth factor therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-880
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Aplastic anemia
  • IL-3
  • Myelodysplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Transplantation


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