Intraperitoneal Administration of Interleukin-2 in Patients With Cancer

Michael T. Lotze, Mary C. Custer, Steven A. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We have administered 11 to 64 doses of recombinant interleukin-2 (IL-2) ranging from 10 000 to 300 000 U/kg, given three times daily as a bolus infusion through an indwelling Tenckhoff catheter, to seven patients with melanoma, ovarian carcinoma, or colorectal carcinoma. The total IL-2 dose ranged from 800 to 3800 − 103 U/kg. Side effects included fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and major weight gain presumedly related to a capillary leak syndrome. Total weight gain ranged from 5.1 to 17.4 kg and was associated with the development of both peripheral edema and ascites. Marked eosinophilia was noted. Serum IL-2 levels were maintained at 10 to 35 U/mL for up to eight hours following intraperitoneal administration of IL-2. Increases from less than 104 cells/mL of a 2-L peritoneal wash to more than 106 cells/mL were noted in peritoneal exudate cell yields. Lysis of the natural killer target K562 increased from undetectable levels to as high as 125 lytic units per 106 cells. Proliferative capacity to IL-2 increased as much as 30-fold in peritoneal exudate cell yields. In addition, 70% to 80% of the mononuclear cells were T cells (Leu 4+) with intraperitoneal phenotype treatment. A single patient with pulmonary and hepatic metastases showed marked decrease in these lesions with intraperitoneal IL-2 treatment. The other patients treated Intraperitoneally with IL-2 did not have significant (á50%) reduction in tumor volume. These findings indicate that the intraperitoneal route of IL-2 administration may allow the in vivo development and expansion of lymphoid cells with antitumor activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1373-1379
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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