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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1991;34(1):49-52.

Production of tumor necrosis factor alpha and interferon gamma in interleukin-2-treated melanoma patients: correlation with clinical toxicity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, John Wayne Cancer Clinic, UCLA Medical Center 90024.

Abstract

Interleukin-2 (IL-2)-based immunotherapy regimens are accompanied by dose-limiting toxicity consisting of fever, tachycardia, chills and capillary leak syndrome. We hypothesized that the toxicity was caused by the induction and release of endogenous cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) and interferon gamma (IFN gamma). We measured the serum levels of TNF alpha and IFN gamma in IL-2-treated melanoma patients and attempted a correlation with clinical toxicity. A total of 23 patients received either 6 x 10(6) IU or 12 x 10(6) IU Cetus IL-2/m2 by i.v. bolus daily for 5 consecutive days on weeks 1, 3 and 5. Serum TNF alpha and IFN gamma levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Clinical toxicity was scored each day by objective measurements of hypotension, tachycardia, fever and chills/rigors. Clinical toxicity and IFN gamma levels correlated nicely, peaking on the 5th day of each treatment cycle. The kinetics and magnitude of TNF alpha production, however, were not predictable and did not correlate with either IFN gamma or toxicity. Some patients had modest increases in TNF alpha production while others had markedly increased levels during the second and third treatment weeks. Remarkably, these high levels persisted during nontreatment weeks and after completion of therapy. This clinical study demonstrates novel kinetics for immunoreactive TNF alpha in IL-2 cancer patients, which do not correlate well with toxicity.

PMID:
1760811
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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