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Interleukin 2 (Aldesleukin)

Interleukin 2 (IL-2) is a naturally occurring cytokine made by T-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). It stimulates the growth and activity of other T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes as part of the immune system. Aldesleukin (Interleukin 2 produced in the laboratory) can be used in the treatment of certain cancers to boost the immune system to help the body fight cancer.

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Web Resources: IL2
Latest Research Publications

Web Resources: IL2 (6 links)


Latest Research Publications

Takezawa Y, Izumi K, Shimura Y, et al.
Treatment Outcome of Low-dose Interleukin-2 Therapy in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(9):4961-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the most fatal urological malignancies. Approximately 30% of patients with RCC have metastasis at initial diagnosis and another 30% have metastasis after radical nephrectomy. Immunotherapy using interferon-α (IFN-α) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been the main treatment for metastatic RCC (mRCC) patients, with this therapy being still occasionally recommended. The aims of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of low-dose IL-2 and to investigate the prognosis of the patients. Study subjects included 37 patients who were clinically diagnosed with mRCC and received low-dose IL-2 therapy between December 1999 and October 2014. We investigated the relationship between prognosis and clinical features. The median overall survival (OS), that was calculated from the first use of cytokine therapy, was 19.8 months, while the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 3.82 months. PFS was prolonged in patients who received IL-2 as first-line therapy or second-line therapy following IFN-α therapy. IL-2 therapy should be used as a first- or second-line therapy following IFN-α therapy. IL-2 may have a lower response if it is used after molecular-targeted therapy or other treatments.

Lin X, Chen J, Huang H
Immunostimulation by cytosine-phosphate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotides in combination with IL-2 can improve the success rate of karyotype analysis in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Br J Biomed Sci. 2016; 73(3):110-114 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To assess whether immunostimulatory cytosine-phosphate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN) combined with interleukin-2 (IL-2) improves the number of mitotic metaphases and the detection rate of chromosomal abnormalities in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Bone marrow specimens were collected from 36 patients with CLL. CLL cells were cultured with CpG-ODN type DSP30 plus IL-2 for 72 h, following which R-banding analysis was conducted. Conventional culture without the immunostimulant served as the control group. The incidence of genetic abnormalities was measured by fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) using a panel of five specific probes: D13S25 (13q14.3), RB1 (13q14), P53 (17p13), ATM (11q22.3) and CSP12 (trisomy 12, +12).
RESULTS: In the control group, chromosome analysis achieved a success rate of only 22.2, and 11.1% of abnormal karyotypes were detected. After immunostimulation with DSP30 plus IL-2, chromosome analysis achieved a success rate of up to 91.6, and 41.6% of abnormal karyotypes were detected. FISH analysis detected 77.7% of abnormalities. FISH combined with CpG-ODN DSP30 plus IL-2 improved the detection rate of chromosomal abnormalities in CLL to 83.3%.
CONCLUSION: CpG-ODN DSP30 combined with IL-2 is effective in improving the detection rate of chromosomal abnormalities in CLL cells. This combination with FISH analysis is conducive to increasing the detection rate of genetic abnormalities in CLL.

Valle-Mendiola A, Gutiérrez-Hoya A, Lagunas-Cruz Mdel C, et al.
Pleiotropic Effects of IL-2 on Cancer: Its Role in Cervical Cancer.
Mediators Inflamm. 2016; 2016:2849523 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) signalling is critical for normal lymphocyte proliferation, but its role in cervical cancer is not fully understood. The receptor is composed of three chains: IL-2α, IL-2β, and IL-2γ. Intracellular signalling is initiated by ligand-induced heterodimerization of the IL-2β and IL-2γ chains, resulting in the activation of multiple intracellular kinases. Recently, IL-2R was shown to be expressed on nonhaematopoietic cells, especially on several types of tumour cells. However, the function of this receptor on malignant cells has not been clearly defined. The expression of IL-2R and the production of IL-2 in cervical cancer cells have been documented as well as expression of molecules of the JAK-STAT pathway. In the current review we have highlighted the differences in the responses of molecules downstream from the IL-2R in normal lymphocytes and tumour cells that could explain the presence of tumour cells in an environment in which cytotoxic lymphocytes also exist and compete and also the effect of different concentrations of IL-2 that could activate effector cells of the immune system cells, which favour the elimination of tumour cells, or concentrations that may promote a regulatory microenvironment in which tumour cells can easily grow.

El-Shemi AG, Ashshi AM, Na Y, et al.
Combined therapy with oncolytic adenoviruses encoding TRAIL and IL-12 genes markedly suppressed human hepatocellular carcinoma both in vitro and in an orthotopic transplanted mouse model.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gene-based virotherapy mediated by oncolytic viruses is currently experiencing a renaissance in cancer therapy. However, relatively little attention has been given to the potentiality of dual gene virotherapy strategy as a novel therapeutic approach to mediate triplex anticancer combination effects, particularly if the two suitable genes are well chosen. Both tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) have been emerged as promising pharmacological candidates in cancer therapy; however, the combined efficacy of TRAIL and IL-12 genes for treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains to be determined.
METHODS: Herein, we investigated the therapeutic efficacy of concurrent therapy with two armed oncolytic adenoviruses encoding human TRAIL gene (Ad-ΔB/TRAIL) and IL-12 gene (Ad-ΔB/IL-12), respectively, on preclinical models of human HCC, and also elucidated the possible underlying mechanisms. The effects of Ad-ΔB/TRAIL+Ad-ΔB/IL-12 combination therapy were assessed both in vitro on Hep3B and HuH7 human HCC cell lines and in vivo on HCC-orthotopic model established in the livers of athymic nude mice by intrahepatic implantation of human Hep3B cells.
RESULTS: Compared to therapy with non-armed control Ad-ΔB, combined therapy with Ad-ΔB/TRAIL+Ad-ΔB/IL-12 elicited profound anti-HCC killing effects on Hep3B and HuH7 cells and on the transplanted Hep3B-orthotopic model. Efficient viral replication and TRAIL and IL-12 expression were also confirmed in HCC cells and the harvested tumor tissues treated with this combination therapy. Mechanistically, co-therapy with Ad-ΔB/TRAIL+Ad-ΔB/IL-12 exhibited an enhanced effect on apoptosis promotion, activation of caspase-3 and-8, generation of anti-tumor immune response evidenced by upregulation of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production and infiltration of natural killer-and antigen presenting cells, and remarkable repression of intratumor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and cluster of differentiation 31 (CD31) expression and tumor microvessel density.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our data showed a favorable therapeutic effect of Ad-ΔB/TRAIL+Ad-ΔB/IL-12 combination therapy against human HCC, and may therefore constitute a promising and effective therapeutic strategy for treating human HCC. However, further studies are warranted for its reliable clinical translation.

Chaurasiya S, Hew P, Crosley P, et al.
Breast cancer gene therapy using an adenovirus encoding human IL-2 under control of mammaglobin promoter/enhancer sequences.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2016; 23(6):178-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been used clinically for the treatment of some malignancies, but the toxicities associated with systemic IL-2 therapy are a major challenge. Here we have determined whether transcriptional targeting of IL-2 to breast cancer (BrCa) using an engineered human mammaglobin promoter/enhancer (MPE2) is a feasible option for reducing IL-2-associated toxicities while still achieving a meaningful antitumor effect. We have constructed nonreplicating adenovirus vectors encoding either a reporter gene (luciferase) or human IL-2 (hIL-2) complementary DNA under control of the MPE2 sequence, the murine cytomegalovirus immediate early (MCMV) promoter or the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter. Luciferase and hIL-2 complementary DNAs under the control of the MPE2 sequence in adenovirus vectors were expressed at high levels in BrCa cells and at lower levels in normal cells of human and murine origin. Cancer specificity of the hTERT promoter was found to be similar to that of the MPE2 promoter in cells of human origin, but reduced specificity in murine cells. The MPE2 regulatory sequence demonstrated excellent tissue specificity in a mouse tumor model. Whereas the MCMV promoter-controlled IL-2 vector generated high liver toxicity in mice, the MPE2-controlled IL-2 vector generated little or no liver toxicity. Both IL-2 vectors exerted significant tumor growth delay; however, attempts to further enhance antitumor activity of the IL-2 vectors by combining with the proapoptotic drug procaspase activating compound 1 (PAC1) were unsuccessful.

Oyer JL, Pandey V, Igarashi RY, et al.
Natural killer cells stimulated with PM21 particles expand and biodistribute in vivo: Clinical implications for cancer treatment.
Cytotherapy. 2016; 18(5):653-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AIMS: Natural killer (NK) cell immunotherapy for treatment of cancer is promising, but requires methods that expand cytotoxic NK cells that persist in circulation and home to disease site.
METHODS: We developed a particle-based method that is simple, effective and specifically expands cytotoxic NK cells from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) both ex vivo and in vivo. This method uses particles prepared from plasma membranes of K562-mb21-41BBL cells, expressing 41BBL and membrane bound interleukin-21 (PM21 particles).
RESULTS: Ex vivo, PM21 particles caused specific NK-cell expansion from PBMCs from healthy donors (mean 825-fold, range 163-2216, n = 13 in 14 days) and acute myeloid leukemia patients. The PM21 particles also stimulated in vivo NK cell expansion in NSG mice. Ex vivo pre-activation of PBMCs with PM21 particles (PM21-PBMC) before intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection resulted in 66-fold higher amounts of hNK cells in peripheral blood (PB) of mice compared with unactivated PBMCs on day 12 after injection. In vivo administration of PM21 particles resulted in a dose-dependent increase of PB hNK cells in mice injected i.p. with 2.0 × 10(6) PM21-PBMCs (11% NK cells). Optimal dose of 800 µg/injection of PM21 particles (twice weekly) with low-dose interleukin 2 (1000 U/thrice weekly) resulted in 470 ± 40 hNK/µL and 95 ± 2% of total hCD45(+) cells by day 12 in PB. Furthermore, hNK cells were found in marrow, spleen, lung, liver and brain (day 16 after i.p. PM21/PBMC injection), and mice injected with PM21 particles had higher amounts.
CONCLUSIONS: The extent of NK cells observed in PB, their persistence and the biodistribution would be relevant for cancer treatment.

Ploessl C, Pan A, Maples KT, Lowe DK
Dinutuximab: An Anti-GD2 Monoclonal Antibody for High-Risk Neuroblastoma.
Ann Pharmacother. 2016; 50(5):416-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To review the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, efficacy, safety, dosage and administration, and formulary considerations for dinutuximab.
DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE was searched (1964 to January 2016) using the terms ch14.18, dinutuximab, immunotherapy, and neuroblastoma. Other information was identified from package insert, Biologics License Application, abstracts, news releases, and ClinicalTrials.gov.
STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: Identified English-language articles were reviewed. Selected studies included phase I through III.
DATA SYNTHESIS: High-risk neuroblastoma is primarily a childhood cancer with 5-year survival rates of 40% to 50%. Treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma includes induction chemotherapy, surgery, myeloablative chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant, and radiation therapy. For patients achieving clinical remission, limited treatments exist for preventing relapse. Dinutuximab is a chimeric, human-murine, anti-GD2 monoclonal antibody approved in combination with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), aldesleukin (interleukin-2 [IL-2]), and isotretinoin (13-cis-retinoic acid [RA]) for maintenance treatment of pediatric patients with high-risk neuroblastoma who achieve at least a partial response to first-line multiagent, multimodality therapy. In phase III trials, dinutuximab increased 2-year event-free survival and overall survival when compared to standard treatment. Severe adverse effects of dinutuximab include pain, hypersensitivity reactions, capillary leak syndrome, and hypotension.
CONCLUSIONS: Dinutuximab is the first anti-GD2 monoclonal antibody approved in combination with GM-CSF, IL-2, and RA for maintenance treatment of pediatric patients with high-risk neuroblastoma who achieve at least a partial response to first-line multiagent, multimodality therapy. Ongoing research will determine if dinutuximab could be used earlier in treatment, in nonresponders to initial therapies, in combination with chemotherapy, or in other cancers.

Greene JM, Schneble EJ, Jackson DO, et al.
A phase I/IIa clinical trial in stage IV melanoma of an autologous tumor-dendritic cell fusion (dendritoma) vaccine with low dose interleukin-2.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2016; 65(4):383-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Stage IV melanoma has high mortality, largely unaffected by traditional therapies. Immunotherapy including cytokine therapies and checkpoint inhibitors improves outcomes, but has significant toxicities. In this phase I/IIa trial, we investigated safety and efficacy of a dendritoma vaccine, an active, specific immunotherapy, in stage IV melanoma patients.
METHODS: Autologous tumor lysate and dendritic cells were fused creating dendritoma vaccines for each patient. Phase I patients were vaccinated every 3 months with IL-2 given for 5 days after initial inoculation. Phase IIa patients were vaccinated every 6 weeks with IL-2 given on days 1, 3 and 5 after initial inoculation. Toxicity and clinical outcomes were assessed.
RESULTS: Twenty-five patients were enrolled and inoculated. All dendritoma and IL-2 toxicities were CONCLUSIONS: The dendritoma vaccine has minimal toxicity profile with potential clinical benefit. There was OS advantage for NED stage IV patients, those receiving higher number of doses and increased frequency. Based on these results, we initiated a phase IIb trial utilizing improved dendritoma technology in the adjuvant setting for NED stage III/IV melanoma patients.

Merriman J, Tward J, Albertson D, et al.
Durable Response to Treatment With Combination Radiotherapy and High-dose Interleukin-2 in Metastatic Chromophobe Variant Renal Cell Carcinoma.
J Immunother. 2016 Feb-Mar; 39(2):101-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
This is a report of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (ChRCC), a rare entity that accounts for 6% to 11% of cases of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). ChRCC is considered to yield a good prognosis as it typically presents as an early stage tumor with longer overall survival when compared with clear cell RCC; however, metastatic disease negates this survival difference and is characterized by poor prognosis. The available clinical investigations supporting the guidelines for treatment of metastatic RCC are predominantly based on clear cell RCC studies. There are no data supporting the applicability of guidelines used to treat clear cell to the management of patients with the ChRCC. This case report describes a male patient who initially presented with locally advanced chromophobe variant RCC, pathologically staged T3aN1M0, initially treated with radical nephrectomy. After developing pathologically confirmed metastatic disease, the patient was treated with repeated cycles of combined hypofractionated radiotherapy to symptomatic metastatic disease sites followed by high-dose intravenous interleukin-2 (HD IL-2) subsequently achieving a near complete and durable response. Three months after initiation of HD IL-2 and radiotherapy, the patient achieved a partial response, and after 6 months he achieved a near complete response. At the time of most recent follow-up, over 36 months after the diagnosis of metastatic disease, the patient remained in remission. On the basis of this experience, we hypothesize that immunomodulation from the radiation potentiated an immune response to HD IL-2 leading to near complete and a durable response in this patient with metastatic ChRCC.

Huang C, Zhou L, Chang X, et al.
B7-H3, B7-H4, Foxp3 and IL-2 expression in cervical cancer: Associations with patient outcome and clinical significance.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(4):2183-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to determine the expression of B7-H3, B7-H4, Foxp3 and IL-2 in cervical cancer tissues, and evaluate the corresponding clinical significance. The expression of B7-H3, B7-H4, Foxp3 and IL-2 in 108 cervical cancer specimens was detected using immunohistochemistry, and their relationship with clinicopathologic parameters was determined. B7-H3, B7-H4 and Foxp3 had high levels of expression in cervical cancer cells (72.22, 80.56, and 91.56%, respectively). B7-H3 levels were only significantly associated with tumor size (P=0.013), while B7-H4, Foxp3 and IL-2 levels were significantly associated with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage (P=0.023, 0.014 and 0.036, respectively) and tumor size (P=0.045, 0.010 and 0.021, respectively). Their expression levels were not correlated with age, histologic type, differentiation and lymph node metastasis (all P>0.05). Cox regression multivariate analysis confirmed that B7-H3 or B7-H4 overexpression was an independent prognostic factor. In addition, there were significant positive relationships between the expression of B7-H3 and B7-H4 with Foxp3 (P<0.001). In contrast, the expression of B7-H3 and B7-H4 was negatively correlated with IL-2 (P<0.05). B7-H3, B7-H4 and Foxp3 may be useful biomarkers in patients with cervical cancer for predicting treatment.

Charych DH, Hoch U, Langowski JL, et al.
NKTR-214, an Engineered Cytokine with Biased IL2 Receptor Binding, Increased Tumor Exposure, and Marked Efficacy in Mouse Tumor Models.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(3):680-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Aldesleukin, recombinant human IL2, is an effective immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma and renal cancer, with durable responses in approximately 10% of patients; however, severe side effects limit maximal dosing and thus the number of patients able to receive treatment and potential cure. NKTR-214 is a prodrug of conjugated IL2, retaining the same amino acid sequence as aldesleukin. The IL2 core is conjugated to 6 releasable polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains. In vivo, the PEG chains slowly release to generate active IL2 conjugates.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We evaluated the bioactivity and receptor binding of NKTR-214 and its active IL2 conjugates in vitro; the tumor immunology, tumor pharmacokinetics, and efficacy of NKTR-214 as a single agent and in combination with anti-CTLA-4 antibody in murine tumor models. Tolerability was evaluated in non-human primates.
RESULTS: In a murine melanoma tumor model, the ratio of tumor-killing CD8(+) T cells to Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells was greater than 400 for NKTR-214 compared with 18 for aldesleukin, supporting preferential activation of the IL2 receptor beta over IL2 receptor alpha, due to the location of PEG molecules. NKTR-214 provides a 500-fold greater exposure of the tumor to conjugated IL2 compared with aldesleukin. NKTR-214 showed efficacy as a single agent and provided durable immunity that was resistant to tumor rechallenge in combination with anti-CTLA-4 antibody. NKTR-214 was well tolerated in non-human primates.
CONCLUSIONS: These data support further evaluation of NKTR-214 in humans for a variety of tumor types, adding to the repertoire of potent and potentially curative cancer immunotherapies.

Siebert N, Eger C, Seidel D, et al.
Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of ch14.18/CHO in relapsed/refractory high-risk neuroblastoma patients treated by long-term infusion in combination with IL-2.
MAbs. 2016; 8(3):604-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ch14.18 manufactured in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Short-term infusion (STI) (8-20 h/day; 4-5 days) of 100 mg/m2 ch14.18/CHO (dinutiximab β) per cycle in combination with cytokines is standard treatment of neuroblastoma (NB) patients. As pain is a limiting factor, we investigated a novel delivery method by continuous long-term infusion (LTI) of 100 mg/m2 over 10 days. 53 NB patients were treated with 5-6 cycles of 6 × 106 IU/m2 subcutaneous interleukin-2 (d 1-5, 8-12), LTI of 100 mg/m2 ch14.18/CHO (d 8-18) and 160 mg/m2 oral 13-cis-retinoic acid (d 22-35). Human anti-chimeric antibody (HACA), antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity and complement-dependent cytotoxicity were determined. With LTI, we observed a maximum concentration of ch14.18/CHO (Cmax) of 12.56 ± 0.68 µg/ml and a terminal half-life time (t1/2 β) of 32.7 ± 16.2 d. The clearance values for LTI and STI of 0.54 ± 0.13 and 0.41 ± 0.29 L/d m2 and area under the serum concentration-time curve (AUC) values of 189.6 ± 41.4 and 284.8 ± 156.8 µg×d/ml, respectively, were not significantly different. Importantly, we detected ch14.18/CHO trough concentration of ≥ 1 µg/ml at time points preceding subsequent antibody infusions after cycle 1, allowing a persistent activation of antibody effector mechanisms over the entire treatment period of 6 months. HACA responses were observed in 10/53 (19%) patients, similar to STI (21%), indicating LTI had no effect on the immunogenicity of ch14.18/CHO. In conclusion, LTI of ch14.18/CHO induced effector mechanisms over the entire treatment period, and may therefore emerge as the preferred delivery method of anti-GD2 immunotherapy to NB patients.

Winchester DA, Gurel B, Till C, et al.
Key genes involved in the immune response are generally not associated with intraprostatic inflammation in men without a prostate cancer diagnosis: Results from the prostate cancer prevention trial.
Prostate. 2016; 76(6):565-74 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We previously reported that both intraprostatic inflammation and SNPs in genes involved in the immune response are associated with prostate cancer risk and disease grade. In the present study, we evaluated the association between these SNPs and intraprostatic inflammation in men without a prostate cancer diagnosis.
METHODS: Included in this cross-sectional study were 205 white controls from a case-control study nested in the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. We analyzed inflammation data from the review of H&E-stained prostate tissue sections from biopsies performed per protocol at the end of the trial irrespective of clinical indication, and data for 16 SNPs in key genes involved in the immune response (IL1β, IL2, IL4, IL6, IL8, IL10, IL12(p40), IFNG, MSR1, RNASEL, TLR4, TNFA; 7 tagSNPs in IL10). Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between carrying at least one minor allele and having at least one biopsy core (of a mean of three reviewed) with inflammation.
RESULTS: None of the SNPs evaluated was statistically significantly associated with having at least one core with inflammation. However, possible inverse associations were present for carrying the minor allele of rs2069762 (G) in IL2 (OR = 0.51, 95%CI 0.25-1.02); carrying two copies of the minor allele of rs1800871 (T) of IL10 (OR = 0.29, 95%CI 0.08-1.00); and carrying the minor allele of rs486907 (A) in RNASEL (OR = 0.52, 95%CI 0.26-1.06). After creating a genetic risk score from the three SNPs possibly associated with inflammation, the odds of inflammation increased with increasing number of risk alleles (P-trend = 0.008).
CONCLUSION: While our findings do not generally support a cross-sectional link between individual SNPs in key genes involved in the immune response and intraprostatic inflammation in men without a prostate cancer diagnosis, they do suggest that some of these variants when in combination may be associated with intraprostatic inflammation in benign tissue.

Jiang WW, Wang QH, Peng P, et al.
Effects of flurbiprofen axetil on postoperative serum IL-2 and IL-6 levels in patients with colorectal cancer.
Genet Mol Res. 2015; 14(4):16469-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
We explored the effects of flurbiprofen axetil on interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-6 levels in postoperative patients with colorectal cancer. A total of 120 patients (American Society of Anesthesiologists I and II) scheduled to undergo colorectal cancer surgery were randomly divided into 3 groups (N = 40 in each group): flurbiprofen axetil group (group F), morphine group (group M), and tramadol group (group T). Group M received 0.1 mg/kg morphine, group T received 1.5 mg/kg tramadol, and group F received 1.5 mg/kg flurbiprofen axetil. Patients in the 3 groups were administered treatments through intravenous injection 10 min before surgery. Serum IL-2 and IL-6 levels were detected. Postoperative adverse reactions were recorded, such as nausea, vomiting, and pruritus. The serum IL-6 level of the 3 groups increased 3 h after surgery. Compared with group M, IL-6 level was higher in group T and group F at 1 day after the surgery, and the differences between group M and the other groups were significant (P < 0.05). Moreover, the incidence of adverse reactions was significantly different among 3 groups (P < 0.05). Flurbiprofen axetil promoted the secretion of IL-2 and inhibited IL-6; additionally, flurbiprofen axetil may have a lower incidence of adverse reactions compared to other treatments.

Recchia F, Candeloro G, Rosselli M, et al.
Adjuvant Ovarian Suppression, High-dose Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy for Premenopausal Patients with High-risk Breast Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(12):6847-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Premenopausal patients with breast cancer and more than 10 positive axillary nodes (BC>10) have a poor prognosis: In these patients the best adjuvant therapy (CT) has not yet been established.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty-two BC>10 received, in sequence, the following adjuvant treatments: luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LH-RH) analog for 5 years; anthracycline-based induction chemotherapy; radiation therapy; platinum-based high-dose CT, with autologous bone marrow transplantation; immunotherapy with interleukin 2 (IL2) and 13-cis retinoic acid (RA); anastrazole given 5 years to estrogen receptor-positive patients. Primary endpoints of the study were disease-free survival (DFS) and overall (OS) survival. A secondary endpoint was toxicity.
RESULTS: The median age of patients was 41 years, and the mean number of positive axillary nodes was 14. Estrogen and progesterone receptors were positive in 57% and 29% of patients respectively, while 14% of patients had triple-negative disease. With a median follow-up of 120 months for patients remaining alive at the end of study, median DFS and OS, had not yet been reached. The 20-year DFS and OS rates were 63.8%, and 81.6%, respectively. One to two years after the end of the therapy, three patients had had four full-term pregnancies.
CONCLUSION: Treatment with LH-RH analog, high-dose CT, peripheral blood progenitor cells and IL2 with RA for patients with BC>10 is feasible, has moderate toxicity, while preserving ovarian function, seems to improve the expected DFS and OS for these high-risk patients.

Sobjanek M, Zabłotna M, Bień E, et al.
Clinical significance of IL-2 and IL-10 gene polymorphisms and serum levels in patients with basal-cell carcinoma.
Biomark Med. 2016; 10(2):185-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
MATERIALS & METHODS: Polymorphic variants of IL-2 gene (-330 T/G and +166 G/T), IL-10 gene (-1082 G/A and -819 C/T) and serum cytokines concentrations in the group of 179 patients with BCC and 173 controls were analyzed.
RESULTS: The presence of the IL-2 -330 GG genotype or IL-10 -1082 GA increased the risk of BCC (OR 3.68) (OR 3.07). IL-10 -1082 AA or GA and IL-2 -330 GG genotype increased the risk of BCC (OR 9.63). IL-2 serum levels were significantly lower (p < 0.0004) in BCC patients while IL-10 concentration was significantly higher (p < 0.00001).
CONCLUSION: The polymorphisms in IL-2 and IL-10 genes may contribute to BCC susceptibility and influence the clinical course of BCC in polish population.

Sottile R, Pangigadde PN, Tan T, et al.
HLA class I downregulation is associated with enhanced NK-cell killing of melanoma cells with acquired drug resistance to BRAF inhibitors.
Eur J Immunol. 2016; 46(2):409-19 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
The frequent development of drug resistance to targeted therapies in cancer patients has stimulated interest in strategies counteracting resistance. Combining immunotherapies with targeted therapies is one such strategy. In this context, we asked whether human NK cells can target melanoma cells that have acquired resistance to selective inhibitors targeting activating mutants of the B-Raf kinase (BRAF inhibitors, BRAFi). We generated drug-resistant cell variants in vitro from human BRAF-mutant melanoma cell lines MEL-HO, COLO-38, SK-MEL-37, 1520 and from primary melanoma cells freshly isolated from two patients. All drug-resistant cell variants remained susceptible to lysis by IL-2-activated NK cells; and two BRAFi-resistant lines (BRAFi-R) became significantly more susceptible to NK-cell lysis than their parental lines. This was associated with significant HLA class I antigen downregulation and PD-L1 upregulation on the drug-resistant lines. Although blocking HLA class I enhanced the extent of lysis of both BRAFi-R and parental cells to NK-cell-mediated lysis, antibody-mediated inhibition of PD1-PD-L1 interactions had no detectable effect. HLA class I antigen expression on BRAFi-R melanoma variants thus appears to play a major role in their susceptibility to NK-cell cytotoxicity. These findings suggest that NK-cell-based immunotherapy may be a viable approach to treat melanoma patients with acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitors.

Martner A, Rydström A, Riise RE, et al.
NK cell expression of natural cytotoxicity receptors may determine relapse risk in older AML patients undergoing immunotherapy for remission maintenance.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(40):42569-74 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
In a phase IV trial, eighty-four patients (age 18-79) with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in first complete remission (CR) received cycles of immunotherapy with histamine dihydrochloride (HDC) and low-dose human recombinant interleukin-2 (IL-2) to prevent relapse in the post-consolidation phase. Aspects of natural killer (NK) cell biology were analyzed before and during immunotherapy with focus on outcome in older patients. In younger (<60 years old, n = 37) and older patients (>60 years old, n = 47), treatment with HDC/IL-2 resulted in an expansion of CD56(bright) and CD16+ NK cells in blood along with an increased NK cell expression of the natural cytotoxicity receptors (NCR) NKp30 and NKp46. In older patients, a high expression of NKp30 or NKp46 on CD16+ NK cells before and during therapy predicted leukemia-free and overall survival. These results suggest that NK cell functions determine relapse risk and survival in older AML patients and point to biomarkers of efficacy in protocols for remission maintenance.

Mao C, Fu XH, Yuan JQ, et al.
Interleukin-2 as maintenance therapy for children and adults with acute myeloid leukaemia in first complete remission.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015; (11):CD010248 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a malignant cancer of hematopoietic stem cells. The treatment of AML consists of two treatment phases: the remission induction phase to achieve a rapid, complete remission (CR) and the consolidation phase to achieve a durable molecular remission. People in CR are at risk of AML relapse, and people with relapsed AML have poor survival prospects. Thus, there is a continuous need for treatments to further improve prognosis. Interleukin-2 (IL-2), an immune-stimulatory cytokine, is an alternative to standard treatment for people with AML to maintain the efficacy after consolidation therapy. Maintenance therapy is not an integral part of the standard treatment for AML. Studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of IL-2 as maintenance therapy for people with AML in first CR, but the effect of IL-2 is not yet fully established.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of IL-2 as maintenance therapy for children and adults with AML who have achieved first CR and have not relapsed.
SEARCH METHODS: We systematically searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (Cochrane Library 2015, Issue 8), MEDLINE (1950 to August 2015), EMBASE (1950 to August 2015), LILACS (1982 to August 2015), CBM (1978 to August 2015), relevant conference proceedings (2000 to 2015), and metaRegister of Controlled Trials (since inception to August 2015) of ongoing and unpublished trials. In addition, we screened the reference lists of relevant trials and reviews.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Eligible studies were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing IL-2 with no treatment in people with AML who had achieved first CR and had not relapsed. We did not identify studies comparing IL-2 versus best supportive care or maintenance chemotherapy or studies comparing IL-2 plus maintenance chemotherapy versus maintenance chemotherapy alone.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently screened studies, extracted data with a predefined extraction form, and assessed risk of bias of included studies. We extracted data on the following outcomes: disease-free survival, overall survival, event-free survival, treatment-related mortality, adverse events, and quality of life. We measured the treatment effect on time-to-event outcomes and dichotomous outcomes with hazard ratio (HR) and risk ratio, respectively. We used inverse-variance method to combine HRs with fixed-effect model unless there was significant between-study heterogeneity.
MAIN RESULTS: We included nine RCTs with a total of 1665 participants, comparing IL-2 with no treatment. Six studies included adult participants, and three studies included both adults and children. However, the latter three studies did not report data for children, thus we were unable to conduct subgroup analysis of children. One Chinese study did not report any outcomes of interest for this review. We included six trials involving 1426 participants in the meta-analysis on disease-free survival, and included five trials involving 1355 participants in the meta-analysis on overall survival. There is no evidence for difference between IL-2 group and no-treatment group regarding disease-free survival (HR 0.95; 95% CI 0.86 to 1.06, P = 0.37; quality of evidence: low) or overall survival (HR 1.05; 95% CI 0.95 to 1.16, P = 0.35; quality of evidence: moderate). Based on one trial of 161 participants, IL-2 exerted no effect on event-free survival (HR 1.02; 95% CI 0.79 to 1.32, P = 0.88; quality of evidence: low). Adverse events (including thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, malaise/fatigue, and infection/fever) were more frequent in participants receiving IL-2, according to one trial of 308 participants. No mortality due to adverse events was reported. None of the included studies reported treatment-related mortality or quality of life.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is no evidence for a difference between IL-2 maintenance therapy and no treatment with respect to disease-free survival or overall survival of people with AML in first CR; however, the quality of the evidence is moderate or low, and further research is likely or very likely to have an important impact on the estimate or our confidence in the estimate. Adverse events seem to be more frequent in participants treated with IL-2, but the quality of the evidence is very low and our confidence in the estimates is very uncertain. Thus, further prospective randomised trials are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn on these issues.

Kim MT, Richer MJ, Gross BP, et al.
Enhancing Dendritic Cell-based Immunotherapy with IL-2/Monoclonal Antibody Complexes for Control of Established Tumors.
J Immunol. 2015; 195(9):4537-44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved high-dose IL-2 therapy and dendritic cell (DC) immunization offer time-tested treatments for malignancy, but with defined issues of short in vivo t1/2, toxicity, and modest clinical benefit. Complexes of IL-2 with specific mAbs (IL-2c) exhibit improved stability in vivo with reduced toxicity and are capable of stimulating NK cell and memory phenotype CD8 T cell proliferation. In this study, we demonstrate that IL-2c treatment in tumor-bearing mice can enhance NK cell and tumor-specific CD8 T cell numbers. Importantly, DC immunization coupled with stabilized IL-2c infusion drastically improves the tumor-specific effector CD8 T cell response. DC + IL-2c treatment enhances number, 41BB and GITR expression, granzyme B production, CTL/regulatory T cell ratio, and per-cell killing capacity of CD8 T cells without increasing inhibitory molecule expression. Notably, IL-2c treatment of anti-CD3-stimulated human CD8 T cells resulted in higher number and granzyme B production, supporting the translational potential of this immunotherapy strategy for human malignancy. DC + IL-2c treatment enhances both endogenous NK cell and tumor Ag-specific CD8 T cell immunity to provide a marked reduction in tumor burden in multiple models of pre-existing malignancy in B6 and BALB/c mice. Depletion studies reveal contributions from both tumor-specific CD8 T cells and NK cells in control of tumor burden after DC + IL-2c treatment. Together, these data suggest that combination therapy with DC and IL-2c may be a potent treatment for malignancy.

Zhang M, Mathews Griner LA, Ju W, et al.
Selective targeting of JAK/STAT signaling is potentiated by Bcl-xL blockade in IL-2-dependent adult T-cell leukemia.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(40):12480-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) develops in individuals infected with human T-cell lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1). Presently there is no curative therapy for ATL. HTLV-1-encoded protein Tax (transactivator from the X-gene region) up-regulates Bcl-xL (B-cell lymphoma-extra large) expression and activates interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-9, and IL-15 autocrine/paracrine systems, resulting in amplified JAK/STAT signaling. Inhibition of JAK signaling reduces cytokine-dependent ex vivo proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from ATL patients in smoldering/chronic stages. Currently, two JAK inhibitors are approved for human use. In this study, we examined activity of multiple JAK inhibitors in ATL cell lines. The selective JAK inhibitor ruxolitinib was examined in a high-throughput matrix screen combined with >450 potential therapeutic agents, and Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitor navitoclax was identified as a strong candidate for multicomponent therapy. The combination was noted to strongly activate BAX (Bcl-2-associated X protein), effect mitochondrial depolarization, and increase caspase 3/7 activities that lead to cleavage of PARP (poly ADP ribose polymerase) and Mcl-1 (myeloid cell leukemia 1). Ruxolitinib and navitoclax independently demonstrated modest antitumor efficacy, whereas the combination dramatically lowered tumor burden and prolonged survival in an ATL murine model. This combination strongly blocked ex vivo proliferation of five ATL patients' PBMCs. These studies provide support for a therapeutic trial in patients with smoldering/chronic ATL using a drug combination that inhibits JAK signaling and antiapoptotic protein Bcl-xL.

Rigolin GM, del Giudice I, Formigaro L, et al.
Chromosome aberrations detected by conventional karyotyping using novel mitogens in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: Clinical and biologic correlations.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2015; 54(12):818-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
To clarify whether karyotype aberrations (KA) involving regions not covered by the standard fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) panel have independent prognostic relevance, we evaluated KA by conventional cytogenetics in a learning cohort (LC; n = 166) and a validation cohort (VC; n = 250) of untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. In the VC, novel mitogens were used to improve metaphase generation and TP53, NOTCH1, and SF3B1 mutations were assessed. KA undetected by FISH were found in 35 and 35% of the cases in the LC and VC, respectively. In addition to FISH, KA allowed reclassification of 23 and 26% of cases in the LC and VC, respectively, into a higher cytogenetic risk group. By multivariate analysis, both in the LC and VC, KA other than isolated 13q deletion correlated with a shorter time to first treatment (TFT; P < 0.001 and 0.003, respectively), while a complex karyotype predicted a worse overall survival (OS, P = 0.015 and 0.010, respectively). In the VC, where a comprehensive biologic assessment was performed, a shorter TFT was also predicted by stage (P < 0.001), IGHV mutational status (P = 0.05), and del(17p)/TP53 mutations (P = 0.033) while stage (P = 0.023) and del(17p)/TP53 mutations (P = 0.024) independently predicted a shorter OS. FISH results did not independently impact on TFT and OS, in the LC and VC cohorts; this was also the case for NOTCH1 and SF3B1 mutations in the VC. We suggest that in CLL, conventional karyotyping with novel mitogens could be more effective than FISH for the detection of KA allowing for a more precise refinement of prognosis.

Shi VY, Tran K, Patel F, et al.
100% Complete response rate in patients with cutaneous metastatic melanoma treated with intralesional interleukin (IL)-2, imiquimod, and topical retinoid combination therapy: results of a case series.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015; 73(4):645-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with cutaneous melanoma metastases have experienced excellent responses to intralesional interleukin (IL)-2. This has led to its recent inclusion into the US National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for management of cutaneous melanoma metastases. Despite this, intralesional IL-2 has not been highlighted in the US literature nor have US physicians adopted it.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of intralesional IL-2 combined with topical imiquimod and retinoid for treatment of cutaneous metastatic melanoma.
METHODS: A retrospective case series of 11 patients with cutaneous metastatic melanoma were treated with intralesional IL-2 combined with topical imiquimod and retinoid.
RESULTS: A 100% complete local response rate with long-term follow-up (average of 24 months) was seen in all 11 patients treated with this proposed regimen. Biopsy specimens of treated sites confirmed absence of malignant cells. The most common treatment-related adverse event was rigors.
LIMITATIONS: Small number of patients, retrospective review of charts, and lack of a comparison group were limitations.
CONCLUSION: Intralesional IL-2 administered concomitantly with topical imiquimod and a retinoid cream is a promising therapeutic option for managing cutaneous melanoma metastases. The regimen was well tolerated and should be considered as a reasonable alternative to surgical excision.

Allard CB, Gelpi-Hammerschmidt F, Harshman LC, et al.
Contemporary trends in high-dose interleukin-2 use for metastatic renal cell carcinoma in the United States.
Urol Oncol. 2015; 33(11):496.e11-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Targeted therapies (TTs) have revolutionized metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) treatment in the past decade, largely replacing immunotherapy including high-dose interleukin-2 (HD IL-2) therapy. We evaluated trends in HD IL-2 use for mRCC in the TT era.
METHODS: Our cohort comprised a weighted estimate of all patients undergoing HD IL-2 treatment for mRCC from 2004 to 2012 using the Premier Hospital Database. We assessed temporal trends in HD IL-2 use including patient, disease, and hospital characteristics stratified by era (pre-TT uptake: 2004-2006, uptake: 2007-2009, and post-TT uptake: 2010-2012) and fitted multivariable regression models to identify predictors of treatment toxicity and tolerability.
RESULTS: An estimated 2,351 patients received HD IL-2 therapy for mRCC in the United States from 2004 to 2012. The use decreased from 2004 to 2008. HD IL-2 therapy became increasingly centralized in teaching hospitals (24% of treatments in 2004 and 89.5% in 2012). Most patients who received HD IL-2 therapy were men, white, younger than 60 years, had lung metastases, and were otherwise healthy. Vasopressors, intensive care unit admission, and hemodialysis were necessary in 53.4%, 33.0%, and 7.1%, respectively. Factors associated with toxicities in multivariable analyses included being unmarried, male sex, and multiple metastatic sites. African Americans and patients with single-site metastases were less likely to receive multiple treatment cycles.
CONCLUSIONS: HD IL-2 therapy is used infrequently for mRCC in the United States, and its application has diminished with the uptake of TT. Patients are being increasingly treated in teaching hospitals, suggesting a centralization of care and possible barriers to access. A recent slight increase in HD IL-2 therapy use likely reflects recognition of the inability of TT to effect a complete response.

You Q, Yao Y, Zhang Y, et al.
Effect of targeted ovarian cancer therapy using amniotic fluid mesenchymal stem cells transfected with enhanced green fluorescent protein-human interleukin-2 in vivo.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(4):4859-66 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of using amniotic fluid mesenchymal stem cells (AF-MSCs) in targeted ovarian cancer therapy in vivo. AF-MSCs were isolated from human second trimester AF and a plasmid, enhanced green fluorescent protein‑human interleukin‑2 (pEGFP‑hIL‑2) was formed. The plasmid was stably transfected into the AF‑MSCs and the cells were intravenously injected into ovarian cancer nude mice models. Following stable transfection of the vector, tumor formation, and the expression and activity of hIL‑2 were investigated, and microscopic pathological examinations of the tumor were performed. It was found that AF‑MSCs exhibited high motility during migration in vivo, and the vector, pEGFP‑hIL‑2 can be stably transfected into AF‑MSCs. Following stable transfection, this type of stem cell is able to successfully transport the therapeutic gene, IL-2, migrate to the ovarian cancer tumor site to secrete the functional IL-2 and treat the tumor. Thus, AF-MSCs may serve as transporters for therapeutic genes targeting ovarian tumor sites and, therefore, be involved in the treatment of tumors.

Witkowska A, Zywiec J, Strozik A, et al.
Interleukin 2 as a potential cancer marker in patients after kidney transplantation.
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2015; 22(2):320-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Transplant recipients have a significantly greater incidence of cancer, compared with the general population, who are referred to immunosuppressive therapy as an additional malignancy risk factor. Therefore, there is a need to search for an easy in clinical practice neoplasm predictor, especially for this group of patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A group of 74 (43M and 31F; aged 46.8 ± 12 years) kidney transplant recipients was investigated in a three-year follow-up study. During the time of observation, 7 patients were diagnosed with neoplasm (7.4 ± 1.5 years after transplantation). A serum level of IL2 (ELISA test) and mRNA level of IL1beta, IL10 and TNFalfa in peripheral mononuclear blood cells - PBMCs (QRT - PCR method) were measured in every year of observation. Analysis of variances and t-Student test were used in groups mean comparison: N - patients developing malignant neoplasm group (24 probes); M - set of probes from patients with malignancies at the moment of diagnosis (11 probes); P - set of probes from patients before developing malignant neoplasm (10 probes); C - control group of healthy transplant recipients (31 probes).
RESULTS: Among the analyzed agents, only serum IL2 level differed between the analyzed groups, with higher values in the M compared with the P group (p<0.05) and with C group (p<0.01). There were no differences neither between N and C or P and C groups (p = 0.98), nor any correlation between IL2 and IL1b, IL2 and TNFalfa.
CONCLUSIONS: The results may indicate that IL2 serum level might be consider as a useful late unspecific cancer marker, although larger studies should yield verification of this finding.

Ingersoll SB, Ahmad S, McGann HC, et al.
Cellular therapy in combination with cytokines improves survival in a xenograft mouse model of ovarian cancer.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2015; 407(1-2):281-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Studies have shown enhanced survival of ovarian cancer patients in which the tumors are infiltrated with tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and natural killer cells showing the importance of immune surveillance and recognition in ovarian cancer. Therefore, in this study, we tested cellular immunotherapy and varying combinations of cytokines (IL-2 and/or pegylated-IFNα-2b) in a xenograft mouse model of ovarian cancer. SKOV3-AF2 ovarian cancer cells were injected intra-peritoneally (IP) into athymic nude mice. On day 7 post-tumor cell injection, mice were injected IP with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC; 5 × 10(6) PBMC) and cytokine combinations [IL-2 ± pegylated-IFNα-2b (IFN)]. Cytokine injections were continued weekly for IFN (12,000 U/injection) and thrice weekly for IL-2 (4000 U/injection). Mice were euthanized when they became moribund due to tumor burden at which time tumor and ascitic fluid were measured and collected. Treatment efficacy was measured by improved survival at 8 weeks and overall survival by Kaplan-Meier analysis. We observed that the mice tolerated all treatment combinations without significant weight loss or other apparent illness. Mice receiving PBMC plus IL-2 showed improved median survival (7.3 weeks) compared to mice with no treatment (4.2 weeks), IL-2 (3.5 weeks), PBMC (4.0 weeks), or PBMC plus IL-2 and IFN (4.3 weeks), although PBMC plus IL-2 was not statistically different than PBMC plus IFN (5.5 weeks, p > 0.05). We demonstrate that cytokine-stimulated cellular immune therapy with PBMC and IL-2 was well tolerated and resulted in survival advantage compared to untreated controls and other cytokine combinations in the nude-mouse model.

Kucera R, Topolcan O, Treskova I, et al.
Evaluation of IL-2, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 in Malignant Melanoma Diagnostics.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(6):3537-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the usefulness of four interleukins (IL-2, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10) for melanoma detection and correlate these interleukins with sentinel node metastasis positivity.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A group of 236 persons was assessed: 175 patients with melanomas and 61 healthy persons. Melanoma patients were divided to four groups according to Breslow score. We determined IL-2, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 in each plasma sample. Interleukin plasma levels were assayed using a Human Cytokine Milliplex Map kit. Measurements were performed using the Bio-Plex MAGPIX Multiplex Reader. Plasma samples were collected prior to surgery or any other form of treatment. All melanoma diagnoses were histologically verified.
RESULTS: We compared interleukin plasma levels in the healthy group and plasma levels in each Breslow score stage. In the first Breslow score stage, IL-2 (p<0.0001), IL-6 (p=0.0004) and IL-10 (p<0.0001) were positive. In the second Breslow score, stage IL-2 (p<0.0001), IL-6 (p<0.0001), IL-8 (p=0.0017) and IL-10 (p<0.0001) were positive. By comparing the group of positive and negative sentinel node metastasis, we observed a statistically significant difference in two interleukins: The median of IL-2 levels in the negative group was 5.88 pg/ml compared to 32.57 pg/ml in the positive group (p=0.0005). The median of IL-6 levels in the negative group was 4.80 pg/ml compared to 32.02 pg/ml in the positive group (p=0.0048).
CONCLUSION: Interleukins IL-2, IL-6 and IL-10 are promising biomarkers of early-stage melanoma. IL-2 and IL-6 appear to be prognostic biomarkers.

DEN Otter W, Hack M, Jacobs JJ, et al.
Effective Treatment of Transmissible Venereal Tumors in Dogs with Vincristine and IL2.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(6):3385-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To improve treatment of inoperable transmissible venereal tumors (TVTs) in dogs. Recently, we showed that TVT is sensitive to intratumoral treatment with interleukin-2 (IL2). In addition it is known that TVT is sensitive to intravenous treatment with vincristine. In the present study we tried to establish the therapeutic effect of intratumoral treatment with vincristine and IL2.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We treated 12 dogs with TVT with 1-4 intratumoral treatments with vincristine and IL-2. Per treatment we used vincristine (0.5-0.7 mg/m(2)) and IL2 (2×10(6) units). The injections were given at weekly intervals.
RESULTS: Early therapeutic effects were: three complete regressions, four partial regressions, three stable disease, and two progressive disease. Late therapeutic effects were established 45-60 months after the first presentation; there were five complete regressions, no partial regressions, nor stable or progressive diseases. Interestingly, all five dogs with late therapeutic effects were in good health. No tumor recurrence was noted.
CONCLUSION: Intratumoral treatment of TVT with vincristine and IL2 appears to have impressive therapeutic effects.

Guo K, Huang P, Xu N, et al.
A combination of YM-155, a small molecule survivin inhibitor, and IL-2 potently suppresses renal cell carcinoma in murine model.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(25):21137-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
YM155, a small molecule inhibitor of the antiapoptotic protein survivin, has been developed as a potential anti-cancer drug. We investigated a combination therapy of YM155 and interleukin-2 (IL-2) in a mouse model of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). YM155 caused cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in renal cancer (RENCA) cells. Next, luciferase-expressing RENCA cells were implanted in the left kidney and the lung of BALB/c mice to develop RCC metastatic model. In this orthotopic renal and metastatic lung tumors models, YM155 and IL-2 additively decreased tumor weight, lung metastasis, and luciferin-stained tumor images. Also, the combination significantly suppressed regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells compared with single agent treatment. We suggest that a combination of YM155 and IL-2 can be tested as a potential therapeutic modality in patients with RCC.

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