Survival characteristics of metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients treated with lymphokine-activated killer cells plus interleukin-2

Deric D. Schoof, Yasunori Terashima, Steven Batter, Linda Douville, Jerome P. Richie, Timothy J. Eberlein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The immunologic manipulation of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma using lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells in conjunction with systemic interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been examined under conditions in which the life-threatening toxicities associated with IL-2 treatment have been virtually eliminated. We have examined tumor regression in vivo as well as the survival characteristics of 12 patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma following immunotherapy. Five of 12 (42 %) patients experienced tumor regression exceeding 50 percent following treatment. To determine if immunotherapy had influenced the length of survival, all patients were followed until the time of death. Previous studies have characterized the length of survival of metastatic renal cell cancer patients according to a combination of risk factors unique for each patient. In this model, patients were categorized into risk groups based on the number of risk factors. Survival was found to be dependent on risk factors such as performance status, time from initial diagnosis, number of metastatic sites, recent weight loss, and prior cytotoxic chemotherapy. On completion of the LAK cell immunotherapy protocol, patients were categorized as nonresponders or responders. In addition, they were assigned to risk groups based on their unique profile of risk factors at the time of entry into the protocol. Using this model, we found the median survival of nonresponders (23 months) to be no different from responders (24 months), p >0.05. This was directly attributable to differences in risk factors which characterized members in these two response groups. However, the observed median survival of nonresponders following therapy was 1.9 fold longer than their projected survival based on the risk factors. Furthermore, the observed median survival of responders was 3.4 fold longer than projected from their risk factors. These results suggest that regardless of response status to therapy, cellular immunotherapy may play a role in mediating a significant palliative effect on the metabolic characteristics of these patients leading to extended survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-539
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1993


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