Purpose: Although high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) can produce durable remissions in a subset of responding patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), this occurs in the setting of significant toxicity. The purpose of this study is to define the maximum-tolerated dosage (MTD) of IL-2 and interferon alfa-2a (IFNα-2a) that can be administered chronically on an outpatient basis. Patients and Methods: Fifty-three patients with advanced cancer of variable histology with good prognostic features were treated in six cohorts. Patients in cohorts one through five received IL-2 (1.5 or 3.0 x 106 million units (mU)/m2) Monday through Friday and IFNα-2a (1.5 or 3 x 106 mU/m2) daily for a 4-week cycle. In cohort six, IFNα-2a was given three times a week. Immunologic monitoring, including serum levels of soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R) and neopterin, flow cytometry, and natural killer cell (NK) activity, were measured. Patients were evaluated for toxicity, response, and survival. Results: Almost all patients developed grade I/II toxicities commonly associated with cytokine therapy. Symptoms were most severe with the first treatment of each week. Dose-limiting toxicities included grade III fatigue, hypotension, and creatinine elevations. The MTD was 1.5 mU/m2 daily x 5 given subcutaneously repeated weekly for IL-2 and 1.5 mU/m2 daily subcutaneously (dose level 3) for IFN. Six of 25 assessable patients with RCC (24%) achieved a partial response (PR), including four of eight patients who were previously untreated. There were no objective responses in patients with other tumors, including 12 melanoma patients. Conclusion: IL-2 and IFNα-2a can be given with tolerable toxicities on an outpatient basis and shows significant activity in patients with metastatic RCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research