Adoptive immunotherapy of human cancer using low-dose recombinant interleukin 2 and lymphokine-activated killer cells

Deric D. Schoof, Barbara A. Gramolini, David L. Davidson, Anthony F. Massaro, Richard E. Wilson, Timothy J. Eberlein

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83 Scopus citations


The adoptive transfer of recombinant-methionyl human interleukin 2 (rIL-2)-activated autologous peripheral blood mononuclear lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells to cancer patients is being evaluated as an alternative to conventional cancer therapy. We have independently developed an alternative regimen to previously reported adoptive immunotherapy protocols using rIL-2 and LAK cells which features the prolonged administration of low-dose rIL-2 (30,000 units/kg) and an automated, entirely enclosed system of peripheral blood cell procurement, culture, harvest, and reinfusion of activated cells. The cell culture system was tested with a murine tumor model in which LAK cells generated in plastic culture bags were reinfused into tumor-bearing mice. Tumor regression was as effective with cells activated in the bags as in conventional culture flasks. Twenty-eight cancer patients were treated for 5 consecutive days with low-dose rIL-2, followed by leukapheresis, infusion of LAK cells, and prolonged IL-2 administration. At least 50% tumor regression was observed in 46% of all patients treated. These data imply that human peripheral blood mononuclear cells retain fully their capacity for rIL-2-induced activation and effector cell function under this alternative approach, and further, that a low-dose rIL-2 regimen with markedly reduced toxicities can be as effective as high-dose rIL-2 regimens if low-dose rlL-2 is given for a prolonged period of time following LAK cell infusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5007-5010
Number of pages4
JournalCancer research
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 1988


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