A decrease in lymphocyte signal-transduction molecules, described in cancer patients and patients with chronic infectious diseases, has been proposed as a possible mechanism leading to an impaired immune response in cancer patients. Here we report the effects of combination immunotherapy on the levels of T cell receptor ζ chain and p56(lck) tyrosine kinase in a retrospective study of cryopreserved lymphocytes from 26 metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients treated with high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2), interferon α (IFNα) and ex vivo IL-2-activated lymphocytes. Of the 26 patients, 12 were responders (5 complete and 7 partial) and 14 were non- responders (6 stable and 8 with progressive disease). Prior to treatment, 21 of 26 patients (81%) and 13 of 21 patients (62%) respectively expressed ζ chain and p56(lck) at less than 50% of the levels observed in healthy controls. During therapy, this low ζ chain and p56(lck) expression increased to at least 50% of normal in 13 of the 21 patients (62%) and in 6 of the 13 patients (46%) respectively; in the remaining patients expression levels remained at 50% of normal or more, or declined. Although, in this limited study, pretreatment levels of and p56(lck) did not show significant correlation with antitumor response, 4 of 5 patients that achieved a complete response (80%) corrected both ζ chain and p56(lck) levels to at least 50% of normal, while restoration of both signal-transduction molecules to such levels was only observed in 3 of 7 partial responders (43%), 1 of 5 patients with stable disease (20%) and 2 of 7 patients with progressive disease (29%). Thus, these results suggest that analysis of changes in signal-transduction molecules may a be useful tool for immunological monitoring of patients throughout immunotherapy, and could provide important information for designing new clinical trials that restore impaired signal transduction while activating T cell responses.

, , ,
doi.org/10.1007/s002620050574, hdl.handle.net/1765/68227
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy: other biological response modifications
Department of Medical Oncology

Gratama, J.-W., Zea, A., Bolhuis, R., & Ochoa, A. (1999). Restoration of expression of signal-transduction molecules in lymphocytes from patients with metastatic renal cell cancer after combination immunotherapy. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy: other biological response modifications, 48(5), 263–269. doi:10.1007/s002620050574