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Int J Cancer. 2001 Oct 1;94(1):109-20.

Immunotherapy of metastatic kidney cancer.

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Immunotherapy Module, Operative Unit of Urology, Department of Urology, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Via P. Palagi 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.


From April 1986 to September 2000, 122 MRCC patients were treated by monthly intralymphatic injections (containing a mean of 573 IL-2 U and 26 x 10(6) LAK cells) and i.m. administration of IFN and TF; 71 patients also received a 3-day cycle of monthly IL-2 inhalations with a mean of 998 daily U. MRCC cases not treated by immunotherapy (n = 89) represent our historical controls. Adverse clinical side effects related to treatment were negligible. CR (n = 11) and PR (n = 13) were noticed in 24/122 patients. Of 24 responding patients, 17 resumed progression, whereas 7 remain in remission 11-69 months later. The overall median survival of treated patients (28 months) was 3.5-fold higher than the median survival of historical controls (7.5 months), and a Kaplan-Meier curve showed 25% survival 11 years after the beginning of immunotherapy. Apparently, the addition of IL-2 by inhalation improved survival. The present immunotherapy protocol appears to be efficacious, safe, devoid of adverse side effects, far less costly than others and able to offer a good quality of life to MRCC patients; if confirmed in a multicenter trial, it could set the basis for developing low-dose immunomodulatory treatments.

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