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J Exp Ther Oncol. 2002 Mar-Apr;2(2):93-9.

Capacity of murine IL-12 to inhibit the development of primary melanoma tumors and to prevent lung metastases in the melanoma-challenged mice.

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Departments of Surgery and Pathology, Roger Williams Medical Center, Brown University, 825 Chalkstone Avenue, Providence, RI 02908, USA.


Interleukin-12 (IL-12) has the capacity to activate cytotoxic lymphocytes, stimulate natural killer cells, induce the production of INF-gamma, and be synergistic with IL-2. We have evaluated this cytokine in an experimental model for metastatic melanoma that approximates the major clinical stages of metastatic dissemination. To develop primary melanoma tumors, mice were injected subcutaneously with 5 x 10(5) cells in a volume of 25 microliters into the middle of the tail (11). In a month, mice were started to be treated for 4 weeks with recombinant murine IL-12 (R mIL-12) at the following doses: 0, 0.5, 2.5, 5.0, 15.0, and 50 micrograms/kg. Diameters of the primary melanoma tumors were measured at weekly intervals. At the end of 13 weeks (9 weeks from the start of treatment with R mIL-12), all surviving mice were sacrificed. Pathological examination of lung metastases (macroscopy) was done with all dead or sacrificed mice. Treatment of mice bearing melanoma at a dose of 300 ng/mouse (15 micrograms/kg) inhibited development of primary tumors in 40% of mice. The primary tumor diameters were significantly lower in the group treated with 300 ng/mouse (15 micrograms/kg) in comparison to controls. At the end of the observation period, groups treated with 0.5, 2.5, 15.0, and 50 micrograms/kg had mean primary tumor diameters smaller than the control group. Evaluation of IL-12 therapy on primary tumor growth, mean diameters of primary tumors, survival rate, and development of lung metastases showed that the best results were observed using 300 ng/mouse (15 micrograms/kg) R mIL-12.

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