Researchers from The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center investigated the effects of interferon-alpha in 20 individuals with essential thrombocythemia, an overproduction of platelets in the blood. One individual had a partial remission of the disease and 14 others had complete hematologic responses (6 of which were complete remissions). More studies need to be done to see if interferon-alpha could be used instead of the current treatment of essential thrombocythemia (the drug hydroxyurea). The research was published in the June 15, 2005, issue of Cancer.