High-dose recombinant interleukin-2 alone: A regimen with limited activity in the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma

Jeffrey S. Abrams, Anthony A. Rayner, Peter H. Wiernik, David R. Parkinson, Mario Eisenberger, Frederick R. Aronson, Rasim Gucalp, Michael B. Atkins, Michael J. Hawkins

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60 Scopus citations


Sixteen patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma were treated with high-dose bolus recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2) alone at a dose and schedule identical to those that produced a 35% response rate among 72 patients in a trial reported by the Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, Md, in which rIL-2 plus lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells was used for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma. Patients received two 5-day cycles of 100,000 Cetus U/kg (600,000 IU/kg) of rIL-2 infused intravenously over 15 minutes every 8 hours; each treatment cycle was separated by 1 week. No objective responses were seen. The toxicity of rIL-2 given alone at these high doses was similar to that noted with high-dose rIL-2-LAK cell therapy. The lack of responses seen in this trial also differed from the 21% response rate observed by the NCI Surgery Branch, using rIL-2 alone at an identical schedule and dose in 56 patients with renal cell carcinoma. Only minor differences in such recognized prognostic variables as performance status, tumor burden, and rIL-2 dose intensity were noted between this study and other trials reported by the NCI Surgery Branch and by the IL-2-LAK Working Group. Our analysis indicates that, because of the smaller number of patients in our trial, not enough subjects were included with the ideal characteristics to attain the 21% response rate seen in the NCI study. However, the precise nature of these characteristics remains unclear. [J Natl Cancer Inst 82:1202-1206, 1990].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1202-1206
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 18 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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