Seventy-two patients with metastatic renal cell cancer were treated with the combination of high-dose interleukin-2 (IL2), interferon-alpha (IFNa), and lymphokine-activated killer cells (LAK). Seventeen patients were entered in a feasibility part of the study (protocol 1) and 55 in an efficacy part (protocol 2). Protocol 2 differed from protocol 1 in the addition of IFNa to the first 5 days of IL2 infusion. Each patient was planned to receive two induction cycles. IL2, 18 MIU/m2/day, was administered continuously i.v. on days 1-5, and IFNa, 5 MIU/m2/day (protocol 2), was administered i.m. on days 1-5, followed by three daily lymphaphereses on days 7-9. On day 12, treatment was resumed with IL2 and IFNa on days 12-15 and LAK reinfusions on days 12-14. In protocol 1, three complete (CR) and one partial (PR) responses were achieved (response rate 24%). The median duration of response and the median survival were 18.1 and 13.9 months, respectively. The 3-year survival was 35%. Of the 51 evaluable patients in protocol 2, 6 achieved a CR and 13 a PR (response rate 37%). The median duration of response was 11.1 months. The median survival was 16.9 months. The 3-year survival was 35%. There were three treatment-related deaths. Other severe toxicities included hypotension, cardiotoxicity, pulmonary edema, renal toxicity, and infectious complications. In the two induction cycles, only 54 and 42% of the planned doses could be administered. We conclude that the use of high-dose regimens of IL2 and IFNa is not warranted, unless we can define more accurately which patients may experience long-term survival as a result of treatment.

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Journal of Immunotherapy
Department of Surgery

Kruit, W., Goey, S. H., Lamers, C., Gratama, J.-W., Visser, B., Schmitz, P., … Stoter, G. (1997). High-dose regimen of interleukin-2 and interferon-alpha in combination with lymphokine-activated killer cells in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer. Journal of Immunotherapy, 20(4), 312–320. doi:10.1097/00002371-199707000-00008