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J Immunother. 2009 Nov-Dec;32(9):914-9. doi: 10.1097/CJI.0b013e3181b2910f.

Intralesional lymphokine-activated killer cells as adjuvant therapy for primary glioblastoma.

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Hoag Cancer Center, Newport Beach, CA 92658, USA.


Despite recent advances, median survival for patients with resectable glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is only 12 to 15 months. We previously observed minimal toxicity and a 9.0-month median survival after treatment with intralesional autologous lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells in 40 patients with recurrent GBM. In this study, GBM patients were treated with adjuvant intralesional LAK cells. Eligible patients had completed primary therapy for GBM without disease progression. LAK cells were produced by incubating autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells with interleukin-2 for 3 to 7 days and then placed into the surgically exposed tumor cavity by a neurosurgeon. The 19 men and 14 women had a median age of 57 years. Prior therapy included surgical resection (97%), partial brain irradiation (97%), gamma knife radiosurgery (97%), and temozolomide chemotherapy (70%). Median time from diagnosis to LAK cell therapy was 5.3 months (range: 3.0 to 11.1 mo). LAK cell treatment was well tolerated; average length of hospitalization was 3 days. At the time of this analysis, 27 patients have died; the median survival from the date of original diagnosis is 20.5 months with a 1-year survival rate of 75%. In subset analyses, superior survival was observed for patients who received higher numbers of CD3+/CD16+/CD56+ (T-LAK) cells in the cell products, which was associated with not taking corticosteroids in the month before leukopheresis. Intralesional LAK cell therapy is safe and the survival sufficiently encouraging to warrant further evaluation in a randomized phase 2 trial of intralesional therapies with LAK or carmustine-impregnated wafers.


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