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Nat Med. 1999 Jul;5(7):817-22.

Interleukin-4 receptor-directed cytotoxin therapy of AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma tumors in xenograft model.

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Laboratory of Molecular Tumor Biology, Division of Cellular and Gene Therapies, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The elusive and enigmatic origin of AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (AIDS-KS) makes it a complex tumor and therefore difficult to treat. Here we demonstrate that AIDS-KS cells express surface interleukin-4 (IL-4) receptors, and that IL-4 toxin (IL-4(38-37)-PE38KDEL) is specifically cytotoxic to these cells. Intratumoral, intraperitoneal and intravenous administration of IL-4 toxin in nude mice with established subcutaneous AIDS-KS tumors caused considerable anti-tumor activity in a dose-dependent manner, with highest dose producing durable complete responses. Metabolic changes, including cachexia and lymphopenia, induced by KS tumors were prevented by IL-4 toxin treatment. This report establishes IL-4(38-37)-PE38KDEL as an experimental therapeutic agent for the treatment of AIDS-KS.

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