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J Immunol. 2005 Nov 15;175(10):7003-8.

Sodium stibogluconate interacts with IL-2 in anti-Renca tumor action via a T cell-dependent mechanism in connection with induction of tumor-infiltrating macrophages.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Biology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195, USA.


IL-2 therapy results in 10-20% response rates in advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) via activating immune cells, in which the protein tyrosine phosphatase Src homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase 1 (SHP-1) is a key negative regulator. Based on finding that sodium stibogluconate (SSG) inhibited SHP-1, the anti-RCC potential and action mechanism of SSG and SSG/IL-2 in combination were investigated in a murine renal cancer model (Renca). Despite its failure to inhibit Renca cell proliferation in cultures, SSG induced 61% growth inhibition of Renca tumors in BALB/c mice coincident with an increase (2-fold) in tumor-infiltrating macrophages (Mphi). A combination of SSG and IL-2 was more effective in inhibiting tumor growth (91%) and inducing tumor-infiltrating Mphi (4-fold), whereas IL-2 alone had little effect. Mphi increases were also detected in the spleens of mice treated with SSG (3-fold) or SSG/IL-2 in combination (6-fold), suggesting a systemic Mphi expansion similar to those in SHP-deficient mice. T cell involvement in the anti-Renca tumor action of the combination was suggested by the observations that the treatment induced spleen IFN-gamma T cells in BALB/c mice, but failed to inhibit Renca tumor growth in athymic nude mice and that SSG treatment of T cells in vitro increased production of IFN-gamma capable of activating tumoricidal Mphi. The SSG and SSG/IL-2 combination treatments were tolerated in the mice. These results together demonstrate an anti-Renca tumor activity of SSG that was enhanced in combination with IL-2 and functions via a T cell-dependent mechanism with increased IFN-gamma production and expansion/activation of Mphi. Our findings suggest that SSG might improve anti-RCC efficacy of IL-2 therapy by enhancing antitumor immunity.

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